In this Book

State University of New York Press
summary
Considers the contributions and contemporary significance of Alan Watts. Alan Watts—Here and Now explores the intellectual legacy and continuing relevance of a prolific writer and speaker who was a major influence on American culture during the latter half of the twentieth century. A thinker attuned to the spiritual malaise affecting the Western mind, Watts (1915–1973) provided intellectual and spiritual alternatives that helped shape the Beat culture of the 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s. Well known for introducing Buddhist and Daoist spirituality to a wide Western audience, he also wrote on psychology, mysticism, and psychedelic experience. Many idolized Watts as a guru-mystic, yet he was also dismissed as intellectually shallow and as a mere popularizer of Asian religions (the “Norman Vincent Peale of Zen”). Both critical and appreciative, this edited volume locates Watts at the forefront of major paradigmatic shifts in Western intellectual life. Contributors explore how Watts’s work resonates in present-day scholarship on psychospiritual transformation, Buddhism and psychotherapy, Daoism in the West, phenomenology and hermeneutics, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, mysticism, and ecofeminism, among other areas.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. iii-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-vii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-ix
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  1. Introduction: A New Look at Alan Watts
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. Chapter One. Alan Watts’ Anticipation of Four Major Debates in the Psychology of Religion
  2. pp. 25-42
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  1. Chapter Two. Alan Watts: The Immediate Magic of God
  2. pp. 43-58
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  1. Chapter Three. Phenomenological Exegeses of Alan Watts:Transcendental and Hermeneutic Strategies
  2. pp. 59-82
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  1. Chapter Four. The Psychedelic Adventures of Alan Watts
  2. pp. 83-102
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  1. Chapter Five. From the Joyous Cosmology to the Watercourse Way:An Appreciation of Alan Watts
  2. pp. 103-122
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  1. Chapter Six. Alan Watts and the Neuroscience of Transcendence
  2. pp. 123-148
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  1. Chapter Seven. Listening to the Rain:Embodied Awareness in Watts
  2. pp. 149-162
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  1. Chapter Eight. Alan Watts on Nature, Gender, and Sexuality:A Contemporary View
  2. pp. 163-182
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  1. Chapter Nine. Contributions and Conundrums in the Psychospiritual Transformation of Alan Watts
  2. pp. 183-202
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  1. Chapter Ten. Buddhist Wisdom in the West: A Fifty-Year Perspective on the Contributions of Alan Watts
  2. pp. 203-219
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  1. Chapter Eleven. Watercourse Way: Still Flowing with Alan Watts
  2. pp. 219-232
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 233-236
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 237-253
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