Alan Watts (1915-1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker who became well-known for interpreting and popularizing Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Although Watts was deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism and other Eastern religions, he also had a background in Christianity, having been an Anglican priest for a brief period.
When it came to Jesus and the concept of the “Son of God,” Watts had an unconventional perspective. Instead of adhering to the traditional Christian view of Jesus as the unique and literal Son of God, Watts believed that Jesus was one of many enlightened individuals who discovered their true divine nature.
In his writings and talks, Watts often emphasized that the idea of Jesus being the “Son of God” should be understood metaphorically and not literally. He suggested that Jesus’ teachings were about helping people recognize their own divine nature and that everyone has the potential to realize their unity with the divine. Watts saw Jesus as a spiritual teacher who pointed the way to self-realization and spiritual awakening.
This view of Jesus is more in line with the mystical and non-dualistic traditions found in various religions, including some branches of Christianity like Christian mysticism, as well as Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s important to note that Watts’ interpretation of Jesus is not the mainstream view in Christianity, and many Christians may disagree with his perspective. However, his ideas have been influential in shaping the understanding of spirituality and religion for many people who are interested in exploring different perspectives beyond traditional religious teachings.