At the turn of the millennium, HarperSanFrancisco, a leading publisher of religious and spiritual books, asked Philip Zaleski, editor of the annual The Best Spiritual Writing series, to look back over the twentieth century and compile a list of the 100 best books in the genre. The nominating panel included Spirituality & Practice book review editor Frederic A. Brussat, S&H columnist Thomas Moore, Natalie Goldberg, Rodger Kamenetz, Harold Kushner, Lawrence Kushner, Christopher de Vinck, David Young, Kabir Helminski, Helen Tworkov, Ron Hansen, Joseph Bruchac, Huston Smith, Lawrence Cunningham, and John Wilson.

All the books had to be published in English for the first time in the twentieth century. Stephen Hanselman of HarperSanFrancisco explained that the list, boasting titles from 50 different publishers, "will guide readers to books that will enrich their souls, serve as a reminder of the twentieth century's enduring spiritual legacy, and spark conversation about the blossoming genre of spiritual writing."

Here's the list arranged alphabetically by author. Click on the links to purchase through our Associates program with

Adams, Henry. Mont-Saint Michel and Chartres
Agnon, S. Y. In the Heart of the Seas
Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous
Anonymous; Robert Powell, translator. Meditations on the Tarot
Anonymous; Marvin Meyer, editor. The Gospel of Thomas
von Balthasar, Hans Urs. The Glory of the Lord
Barfield, Owen. Saving the Appearances
Barth, Karl. The Epistle to the Romans
Bernanos, Georges. Diary of a Country Priest
Black Elk. Black Elk Speaks
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Letters and Papers from Prison
Buber, Martin. I and Thou
Buber, Martin. Tales of Hasidim
Camus, Albert. The Plague
Chapman, John. Letters & Religion
Chesterton, G.K. Orthodoxy
Daumal, Rene. Mount Analogue
Day, Dorothy. The Long Loneliness
Dillard, Annie. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Dunne, John S. The Way of All the Earth
Eisley, Loren. The Immense Journey
Eliade, Mircea. The Myth of Eternal Return
Eliot, T.S. Christianity and Culture
Eliot, T.S. Four Quartets
Endo, Shusako. Silence
Florensky, Pavel. The Pillar and the Ground of Truth
Foster, Richard. A Celebration of Discipline
Frankl, Viktor. Man's Search for Meaning
Gandhi, Mohandas. Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Greene, Graham. The Power and the Glory
Griffiths, Bede. The Golden String
Guardini, Romano. The Lord
Guenon, Rene. The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times
Gurdjieff, G.I. Meetings with Remarkable Men
Hahn, Thich Nhat. Peace Is Every Step
Hammarskjold, Dag. Markings
Heschel, Abraham Joshua. God in Search of Man
Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Sabbath
Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. Collected Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Huxley, Aldous. The Perennial Philosophy
Isherwood, Christopher. My Guru and His Disciple
James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience
John XXIII, Pope. Journal of a Soul
John Paul II, Pope. Crossing the Threshold of Hope
Jung, Carl. Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Kafka, Franz. The Trial
Kelly, Thomas. A Testament of Devotion
Kerouac, Jack. The Dharma Bums
King Jr., Martin Luther. I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
Knox, Ronald. Enthusiasm
Krishnamurti, Jiddu. Think on These Things
Leclercq, Jean. The Love of Learning and the Desire for God
Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity
Lusseyran, Jacques. And There Was Light
Maharashi, Ramana. The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharashi
Malcolm X. The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Maritain, Raissa. Journals
Maugham, W. Somerset. The Razor's Edge
Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation
Merton, Thomas. The Seven Storey Mountain
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Something Beautiful for God
Newman, John Henry. Taking on the Heart of Christ: Meditations and Devotions
Niebuhr, Richard H. Christ and Culture
Niebuhr, Reinhold. The Nature and Destiny of Man
O'Connor, Flannery. Wise Blood
Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy
Ouspensky, P.D. In Search of the Miraculous
Peck, M. Scott. The Road Less Traveled
Percy, Walker. Lost in the Cosmos
Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Ramakrishna. Swami Nikhilananda, translator. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Reps, Paul and Senzaki, Nyogan. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
Rilke, Rainer Maria. Duino Elegies
Rosenzweig, Franz. The Star of Redemption
Russell, George William. The Candle of Vision
Schimmel, Anne-Marie. Mystical Dimensions of Islam
Scholem, Gershom. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Schumacher, E.F. A Guide for the Perplexed
Schuon, Fritjof. The Transcendent Unity of Religions
Singer, Isaac Bashevis. Collected Stories
Smith, Huston. The World's Religions
Steinsaltz, Adin. The Thirteen-Petalled Rose
Suzuki, D. T. Essays in Zen Buddhism
Suzuki, Shunryu. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Tagore, Rabindranath. Gitanjali
Teilhard, De Chardin Pier. The Phenomenon of Man
Teresa, Mother. A Simple Path
Therese of Lisieux, St. The Story of a Soul
Tillich, Paul. The Courage to Be
Tolkien, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings
Traherne, Thomas. Centuries
Trungpa, Chogyam. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism
Weil, Simone. Waiting for God
Wiesel, Elie. Night
Yeats, William Butler. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi