I'm really glad no one has mentioned Milton. I guess it may come down to what one means by great. I suspect in the US it has connotations of size.
Who is the biggest religious poet? As for the arts the word has overtones of survivability. Size = length of time.
Canadians supposedly equate greatness with quality. Who is the best religious poet? Then one discusses criteria of performance
on the page or in person. For survivability and quality of performance my vote goes, as did Eliot's, with Dante.

David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Fi r s t  on
The r e was s i l enc e .
And God s a id:
'Le t the r e be c l a t t e r . '
The wind, unclenching,
Runs i t s thumbs
Along dry bristles of Yorkshire Fog. (a kind of fodder grass)
The mountain ousel
Oboe s i t s one note .
Af t er  rain
Wa t e r lobe l i a
Drips like a tap
On the tarn's tight surface-tension.
But louder ,
And every second nearer,
Like chain explosions
From furthest nebulae
Light-yearing across space:
The thudding of my own blood.
' I t ' s nobbut me , '
Says God.
(A UK poet's Yorkshire dialect take on Genesis; clatter=commotion; nobbut=nothing but.)

On 14 September 2012 01:53, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I love these self-imploding pronouncements. Nothing comes from nothing --- turns out it's true!

Ken A

On 9/13/2012 6:23 PM, Nancy Gish wrote:
In my judgement, placing him above Donne and Hopkins is utterly false. Anyone can call anyone "greatest": it does not mean much.

>>> Chokh Raj 09/13/12 5:59 PM >>>
The Guardian article

Which religious poets do you love?
Andrew Brown
1 June 2009 

"[T]he most powerful English religious poet started off as an American. 
There is something in the solemn and desolate music of The Waste Land 
which conveys to me an idea of god by absence and by indirection." 


From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 9:59 AM
Subject: TS Eliot, the greatest religious poet?

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word. 


That is what I had read in an article in The Guardian (UK).
It resonated well with what I had felt all along. 
It raises certain questions, though, of how and why.
We need to raise them and answer them as best we can.
I'd love to share my feelings on the subject.
The list is welcome.