Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Watts, Alan Wilson

  • Robert S. EllwoodEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_740

Alan Wilson Watts (1915–1973) was an Anglo-American writer and lecturer on religion, spirituality, and psychology. Born in Chislehurst, Kent, England, Watts married an American woman, Eleanor Everett, in 1938, moving to New York the same year. He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1944, but left that vocation in 1950 to pursue the study and practice of Eastern mysticism. During his Episcopalian years, he had written Behold the Spirit (1947), an uneven but sometimes profound synthesis of Eastern and Christian mysticism, and The Supreme Identity (1950), articulating a highly monistic mystical philosophy. In 1951–1957, Watts was a member of the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco and, under a grant from the Bollingen Foundation, in 1956 published The Way of Zen, perhaps his best-known book.

With this influential study as a launching pad, Watts became an independent writer and speaker or, as he liked to call himself, “philosophical entertainer.”...

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Bibliography

  1. Furlong, M. (1986). Zen effects: The life of Alan Watts. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  2. Watts, A. (1947). Behold the spirit. New York: Random House, Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  3. Watts, A. (1950). The supreme identity. New York: Random House, Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  4. Watts, A. (1957). The way of Zen. New York: Random House, Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  5. Watts, A. (1958). Nature, man and woman. New York: Random House, Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
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  11. Watts, A. (1968). Myth and ritual in Christianity. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  12. Watts, A. (1972). In my own way. New York: Random House, Pantheon Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA