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Myth and Religion: The Edited Transcripts

Alan Watts

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ISBN 10: 080483055X / ISBN 13: 9780804830553
Published by Charles E. Tuttle, 1996
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Myth and Religion: The Edited Transcripts

Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

This dynamic collection of edited transcripts begins with Not What Should Be, But What Is! In this powerful talk on the contrasts between classical Eastern and traditional Western mythologies, Watts questions whether the image of a divine patriarch is still intellectually plausible in light of our ever growing understanding of the universe. He then takes a revealing look at the mystical origins of Christianity in Jesus - His Religion, Or the Religion About Him? and explores how Christianity has diverged historically from those teachings in a brilliant and well researched critique of the Church. In Democracy in the Kingdom of Heaven Watts then carries his inquiry one step further, and asks if indeed a monarchical religion still makes sense in a democratic society. Watts takes a fascinating look at the ultimately anthropomorphic quality of man's view of his god in Images of Man. Here he is only half kidding when he says that "In the beginning there was Man, and he created God in his image," pointing to the highly subjective nature of our inquiry into the highest orders of reality. In the final chapter, Religion and Sexuality, Watts again looks at organized religion, but with more than a touch of humor as he suggests that churches today are sexual regulation societies, and precious little else. To make this point Watts asks, "How else can you get thrown out?" He then goes on to discuss the social implications of the Church's investment in moral issues, and demonstrates that this may in fact be a ploy to cover up for the lack of any substantial religious teaching in organized religion today.

From Booklist:

Watts is best known as a popular interpreter of Eastern religions, but this collection of edited transcripts of six of his lectures will reintroduce him as a perceptive commentator on Western traditions as well. Of particular relevance to contemporary readers are his discussions of hierarchy, authority, identity, and sexual ethics. As in previous Watts volumes from Tuttle, the oral character of the presentations is preserved in transcription. Readers (particularly those who encounter Watts here for the first time) may find it frustrating that the context and original setting of the lectures are not made explicit; but, frustrated or not, they will find Watts a lively and often provocative partner in reflection on important themes. Steve Schroeder

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