Also I just picked up the book God Against The Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism by Jonathan Kirsch.
It seems rather interesting so far, I’m only a chapter in but already it’s taking a rather dim view of the benefits of monotheism.
From the book:
…fatefully, monotheism turned out to inspire a ferocity and even a fanaticism that are mostly absent from polytheism. At the heart of polytheism is an open-minded and easygoing approach to religious belief and practice, a willingness to entertain the idea that there are many gods and many ways to worship them. At the heart of monotheism, by contrast, is the sure conviction that only a single god exists, a tendency to regard one’s own rituals and practices as the only proper way to worship the one true god.
Plus it seems the battle lines in the Amazon reviews have been drawn with equally negative and positive write-ups showing that this “war” has never really ended.
The “most influential” list is still coming along, maybe tomorrow.