Paul L. Swanson

Senior Research Fellow, Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture

Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Nanzan University

Paul is an MK (“missionary kid”) who was born and raised in Japan. He has four children and one wife, is a Bob Dylan freak, edits the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, and has lost the battle against an expanding waistline and becoming a “senior citizen.” He did his graduate studies at Sophia University, the University of Tokyo, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dual areas of specialization are Japanese Religions (Shugendo) and Buddhist Studies (T’ien-t’ai/Tendai Buddhism). His publications include:

Foundations of T’ien-t’ai Philosophy, a study of the threefold truth as the basic structure of T’ien-t’ai Buddhist philosophy, including an annotated translation of part of the Fa-hua hsuan-i.
Religion and Society in Modern Japan, a collection of essays intended for use as a textbook for classes on Japanese religions
Pruning the Bodhi Tree, a collection of essays on “Critical Buddhism”
If you teach me Japanese, I’ll teach you English, a guide to exchanging languages
Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions, edited with Clark Chilson
Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight: T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s Mo-ho chih-kuan, a complete annotated translation of one of the most influential treatises in East Asian Buddhism.
In Search of Clarity: Essays on Translation and Tiantai Buddhism, a collection of essays written over a period of more than 30 years while working on translating Buddhist texts into English.

Titles in Vietnamese:
Thien & Chi Quan
Thien Thai Tong

Paul’s current projects include:

    • * translating the Mo-ho chih-kuan 『摩詞止観』 and other T’ien-t’ai texts into English

Table of Contents for complete Mo-ho chih-kuan.
Sample text: The Section on “Contemplating Objects as Inconceivable” (aka “On Ichinen sanzen” 一念三千), T46.52b-55c.