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Beyond Theology
The Art of Godmanship

CDN Retail: $28.95
Product Code: 9781608688241
Author: Watts, Alan
Vendor: New World Library



Today, Alan Watts is remembered as an eloquent interpreter of Eastern philosophies. Watts was a scholar of Christianity who worked as an Episcopal chaplain early in his career. He left the church to find his own spiritual path, but his time there fueled a burst of literary creativity that culminated in Beyond Theology, originally published in 1964 and now back in print.

In this work, Watts asks Christianity can stay relevant in our modern world. To answer that question, he deconstructs Christianity by using concepts borrowed from psychology, linguistics, science, and Eastern philosophy. In the process, he solves difficult problems of theology, traces the impact of Christianity on Western culture, and points the way to a new form of nondualistic spirituality. He wrote a series of provocative questions:

  • Does Christianity, like some Eastern religions, contain a hidden esoteric core?
  • How does Christianity's dualistic view of the universe relate to our current ecological crisis?
  • Can the traditional image of God as "the Old Gentleman in the sky" be squared with contemporary scientific cosmology?
  • Is the universe deadly serious, or is it an expression of humor and joy?

Playing the role of a philosophical jester, Watts artfully deploys paradoxes, riddles, and gently subversive humor to overturn conventional wisdom. His intention is not to hold sacred things up to ridicule but rather to expand our definition of the sacred. The ultimate aim is to help us see beyond the external trappings of religion - beyond ritual, myth, doctrine, and theology itself - to experience the divine within ourselves.