Explores language and mysticism, Buddhism and Zen, Christianity, comparative religion, psychedelics, and psychology and psychotherapy.
Gold Winner, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Philosophy category
To commemorate the 2015 centenary of the birth of Alan Watts (1915–1973), Peter J. Columbus and Donadrian L. Rice have assembled a much-needed collection of Watts's scholarly essays and lectures. Compiled from professional journals, monographs, scholarly books, conferences, and symposia proceedings, the volume sheds valuable light on the developmental arc of Watts's thinking about language and mysticism, Buddhism and Zen, Christianity, comparative religion, psychedelics, and psychology and psychotherapy. This definitive collection challenges Watts's reputation as a "popularizer" or "philosophical entertainer," revealing his concerns to be much more expansive and transdisciplinary than is suggested by the parochial "Zen Buddhist" label commonly affixed to his writings. The editors' authoritative introduction elucidates contemporary perspectives on Watts's life and work, and supports a bold rethinking of his contributions to psychology, philosophy, and religion.
Peter J. Columbus is Administrator of the Shantigar Foundation in Rowe, Massachusetts. Donadrian L. Rice is Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. Together they are the coeditors of Alan Watts—Here and Now: Contributions to Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion, also published by SUNY Press.
"The editors of this book have clearly devoted a great deal of energy to selecting more than thirty relatively academic talks and essays out of Watts' enormous body of work. Many of the selections are fairly obscure, but all are worthy of consideration. " — Nova Religio
"…both academically and historically rich. " — PsycCRITIQUES
"This collection, testament to an astonishingly productive writing and speaking career, serves as a window into an extraordinarily significant era, when Asian traditions and non-theological forays into religion were largely unknown in the academy. Watts's outsider status is firmly established, but his contributions to academic life and thought deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated. " — Reading Religion
"This excellent volume is important in establishing Watts as perhaps the most important Western thinker and writer on Eastern religions and philosophy, as well as comparative religions, of the twentieth century. " — John W. Traphagan, author of Rethinking Autonomy: A Critique of Principlism in Biomedical Ethics