Alan Watts Compares Buddhism and Christianity

Something I was watching lately. This is by the famous philosopher Alan Watts, who helped popularize Buddhism (especially Zen) for Western audiences. In this show made in the 1960’s, he talks about the role of religion in traditional society using 2 examples: medieval Europe and ancient India. Then, he shows how both Jesus and the Buddha existed outside of society. Finally, he shows how Buddhism and Christianity have different views of the world, and time.

This is part 1:

This is part 2:

Since this was made in the 1960’s, smoking a cigarette was not unusual. ;p The “Japanese” calligraphy in the background also felt very 1960’s to me too.

Anyhow, Alan Watts is a very persuasive speaker, and this video makes a great deal of sense, especially the last five minutes. As Alan Watts explains, the purpose of Christianity is to bring order to the world, with God as the center, while in Buddhism the purpose is to see the order of the world as it exists and appreciate it. Christianity seeks to transform the world, Buddhism seeks to transform the mind.

Something to think about. 🙂


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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