When the Buddha Came to Ultima Thule: Call for Papers for the Sixth International Conference Buddhism and Nordland

By Craig Lewis
Buddhistdoor Global | 2021-06-25 |

Guru Rinpoche Mandala by Vello Väärtnöu

The Sixth International Conference Buddhism and Nordland, which will be held on 19–20 November 2021 in Sweden, has announced a call for papers for Buddhist scholars, teachers, scientists, practitioners, and community representatives.

The Sixth International Conference Buddhism and Nordland is to be held in person in Sweden, with the aspiration of enhancing the academic study of Buddhism in the region, and follows the success of five conferences that were held from 2007–11 in Estonia. Information on the event will be updated on an ongoing basis.

“The Sixth International Conference Buddhism and Nordland aims to enhance the academic study of Buddhism in Sweden and to investigate the history and presence of Buddhism in Sweden and Northern Europe,” organizing chair Marju Broder told Buddhistdoor Global. “The conference is open to proposals for contributions on Buddhist history, philosophy, texts, as well for proposals on any Buddhism related theme.”

The International Conference Buddhism and Nordland was founded by Vello Väärtnöu, who sought to organize an international Buddhist symposium in cooperation with other Nordic countries many decades ago. This aspiration resulted in a series of five conferences in Estonia in 2007-11, which brought together scientists and Buddhists from all of the Nordic countries and Baltic states, as well from Buryatia, Germany, Hungary, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, the UK, and the US.

Väärtnöu was granted a Distinguished Talent Visa for his educational and academic projects in Australia. He spent 10 years in Western Australia, initiating annual academic conferences and working on his online Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia, which he launched in 2012 at UC Berkeley. Today, the encyclopedia encompasses 76,770 articles.

“There is very little research done about Buddhism in the Nordic countries—we can say that the research on the historical reception of Buddhism in the West is still in its infancy,” Broder explained. “Therefore, the aim of this conference is to research and acknowledge the history, persons, and events related to Buddhism in Northern Europe.

“The conference encourages cross-disciplinary engagement and brings together scientists and Buddhist scholars to reveal their latest research, and share different aspects of Buddhist culture—something so often spoken of in academia the world over, yet rarely made possible in actual fact.”

The conference invites delegates to address topics including:

• The relationship between Buddhism and the state in Scandinavia/Europe
• Early reception of Buddhism in Northern Europe
• Buddhism as described in historical documents
• Perspectives and attitudes toward Buddhism, Buddhists, and their work in your country
• How Buddhism is reflected in your local culture and media
• The struggles of women within the sangha
• Similarities and differences in Buddhist culture and acceptance in neighboring countries
• Buddhism and science
• Buddhist schools and traditions in Sweden
• The perspectives of scientists and the Swedish Academy of Science toward Buddhism

Important dates:

Proposals should be submitted by 15 September 2021 to

Acknowledgments of acceptance will be sent by 30 September 2021. Full draft papers should be submitted by 31 October 2021

What to send:

Proposals may be in MS Word or RTF formats, with the following information:

Affiliation as you would like it to appear in the program
Email address
Title of proposal
Body of proposal; no more than 250 words
Up to 10 keywords
CV/résumé, maximun two pages

Paper presentations are limited to 30 minuntes (including Q&A). Papers to be presented at the conference will be published on the conference website. Papers must not have previously been published and, if accepted, cannot be published through other media.

See more

Buddhism & Nordland: International Conference on Buddhism
Swedish Buddhist Studies
Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia

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