Alan Wilson Watts(6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a Britishwriter and lecturer who interpreted and popularisedEastern philosophyand religion for aWesternaudience. Born inChislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and beganZentraining in New York. Pursuing a career, he attendedSeabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree intheology. Watts became anEpiscopalpriest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved toCalifornia, where he joined the faculty of theAmerican Academy of Asian Studies.
Watts gained a large following in theSan Francisco Bay Areawhile working as a volunteer programmer atKPFA, aPacifica Radiostation inBerkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important toEasternandWestern religion, introducing the then-burgeoningyouth culturetoThe Way of Zen(1957), one of the first bestselling books onBuddhism. InPsychotherapy East and West(1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form ofpsychotherapyand not a religion. He consideredNature, Man and Woman(1958) to be, "from a literary point of view—the best book I have ever written."He also explored human consciousness and psychedelics in the essay "The New Alchemy" (1958) and in the bookThe Joyous Cosmology(1962)