Paul J. Griffiths
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Griffiths has held appointments at the University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago. A scholar of Augustine, Griffiths' main interests and pursuits are philosophical theology and the philosophy of religion—particularly Christianity and Buddhism. He received a doctoral degree in Buddhist Studies in 1983 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his early works established him as one of the most incisive interpreters of Yogācāra Buddhist philosophy. His works on Buddhism include On Being Mindless (Lasalle, IL: Open Court, 1991) and On Being Buddha (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994). After converting from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism and accepting the Schmitt Chair of Catholic Studies at UIC, he has largely given up his work in Buddhist Studies. His recent books include: Problems of Religious Diversity (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001); Philosophy of Religion: A Reader (co-edited with Charles Taliaferro) (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003); and, Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2004). His latest book deals with curiositas and the nature of intellectual appetite; its title is: Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar.
Griffiths acted as an adviser for the pope during his state visit to the UK.
Buddhist hybrid English
Griffiths coined the term Buddhist hybrid English as an analogy to Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit to designate the often incomprehensible result of attempts to faithfully translate Buddhist texts into English. This effort often involves the creation of entirely new English phrases for Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese phrases, the use of English words in uncharacteristic ways, and heavy reliance on calques.
An example Buddhist Hybrid English phrase is "own-being" to translate Sanskrit svabhāva in contexts where it is used as a technical philosophical term, equivalent to English essence.
- Daniel Anderson Arnold (2005), Buddhists, brahmins, and belief: epistemology in South Asian philosophy of religion, Columbia University Press, p. 223, ISBN 9780231132800
- An Interview with Paul Griffiths
- Griffiths. Paul J. (1981) ‘Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists.’ Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 4(2): 17-32.