Just as groundbreaking today as it was when it first appeared, "Behold the Spirit" is philosopher Alan Watts's timeless argument for the place of mystical religion in today's world. Drawing on his experiences as a former priest, Watts skillfully explains how the intuition of Eastern religion--Zen Buddhism, in particular--can be incorporated into the doctrines of Western Christianity, allowing people of all creeds to enjoy a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the spiritual in our present troubled times.
About the Author
Alan Watts was born in England in 1915 and received his early education at King's School, Canterbury. He received a master's degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Illinois and an honorary doctorate of divinity from the University of Vermont. He wrote his first book, The Spirit of Zen, at the age of twenty and went on to write over twenty other books including The Way of Zen, The Book, and Tao: The Watercourse Way, which though never fully completed was published after the author's death and introduced thousands of readers to Taoist thought.
In addition to being an acclaimed author and philosopher, Dr. Watts was also an Episcopalian minister, professor, graduate-school dean and reasearch fellow of Harvard University. By the early 1960s, he moved to Sausolito, California, and held seminars and lectures throughout the United States. Alan Watts died in 1973.
Comments Upon Original Publication Of
Behold The Spirit
"I regard [the] book as one of the best -- in fact the only first-rate -- book in recent years in the field of religion. It gets to the fundamental problem, it honestly sees the weaknesses of contemporary Protestantism, and it attempts to diagnose and cure the evil in the only way a cure can be effected, namely by a doctrine with content at the basic metaphysical level.
"It also goes further than this, recognizing contributions from Oriental religion which simply are not present in contemporary Western religion. More than this it shows how the traditional Western doctrine of the Incarnation and the Atonement can be reconciled with and combined with the intuitive religion of the Orient, such as that of Zen Buddhism. These are exceedingly important and outstanding achievements."
"Behold the Spirit will, I think, prove to be one of the half-dozen most significant books on religion published in the twentieth century." Canon Iddings Bell