The non profit organisation Swedish Buddhist Studies aims to develop the academic study of Buddhism in Sweden and enhance research on Buddhism and Buddhist history of Northern Europe.
SBS is open to academics, independent researchers, unaffiliated Buddhist scholars, who accept the goals of association and actively help to put them into practice.
The reason to establish Swedish Buddhist Studies Association (SBS) derives from the fact that Swedish universities have research tradition only in Jewish, Islamic and Christian Studies but not in Buddhist Studies.
Scholarly study of Buddhism is carried out only by individuals or small groups of people working in different departments.
Also, as Sweden has economic relations with Asian countries filled with millions Buddhists, it would be reasonable and useful to know about their partners culture and way of thinking using academic approach and scientific methods.
The initiative to form Swedish Buddhist Studies came from internationally renown Swedish scholar Vello Vaartnou (PhD), who has extensive experience in the field of Buddhist studies and research.
The Swedish Buddhist Studies holds annual international scientific conferences Buddhism & Nordland and Buddhism & Australaisia,that bring together academics and practitioners to present their latest researches and complete each others views.
International Conference Buddhism & Nordland was started in 2007, and it was the first to investigate Buddhism in the Northern countries. After few years break while the organisers worked in Australia with international conferences Buddhism & Australaisia, both conferences will continue in Sweden.
The main aim of the international conference Buddhism & Nordland is to research and record Buddhist history of the Nordic countries and expand upon Buddhism as cultural phenomenon in historical and cultural context, and connect researchers in the Nordic countries.
Vello Väärtnöu was the first person to bring scholars, scientists and Buddhist scholars together who would complete each other by revealing different aspects and materials on the subject of Buddhism during the conference.
Looking back to the 14 years conferences, we can say that this unique idea harnessed itself smoothly and produced hundreds of research articles available on website for free. Through that, SBS contributes to the society new and interesting materials that the conference “Buddhism and Nordland” mediates.
SBS also develops further an online Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia, and organises workshops to introduce Buddhist art and architecture in Europe.
Vello Vaartnou has translated Buddhist texts and literature, established practical Buddhist tradition in a non Buddhist country, built 8 stupas, temple, prayer wheels and is internationally recognized artist, thangka master, whose exclusive thangkas have found their way to Thai Royal Family, UC Berkeley, Mahachula University, Stockholm Ethnographic museum etc.
Today he is the author of two international Buddhist conferences and two Buddhist Encyclopedias of which the latest, an online Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia was introduced by him to public in 2012 at UC Berkeley.
Since then he mainly works with encyclopedia and presents his researches annually at UC Berkeley conferences
Website is launched but still under construction so lots of information might be missing or incorrect.