Herbert V. Guenther

Guenther is famous for being difficult to read. But he has been a pioneer in addressing contemporary philosophical issues from a deep and learned Buddhist perspective. The difficulty is not so much any sloppiness in his writing, but more because both Buddhist and European philosophy have built up rich vocabularies and conceptual systems over the centuries, so any attempt to relate them will tend to get complicated.

Guenther was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1917. He studied in Munich and Vienna, and then taught at Vienna University from 1943 to 1950. He then lived and taught in India, at Lucknow University from 1950 to 1958, and the Sanskrit University in Varanasi from 1958 to 1963. He then went to the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. This biographical information is from the festschrift volume Buddhist Thought and Asian Civilization, Leslie S. Kawamura and Keith Scott (eds.) (Dharma Press 1977). This book also has a bibliography of Guenther's works up to that point.

Independent works based on Buddhist philosophy


(generally with extensive commentary)