12. In the Rear-view Mirror: Experiences of Attending an Ashram-based Religious Minority School in Sweden
Sanja Nilsson [+]
Gothenburg University, Sweden
The topic of confessional education is an increasingly discussed and debated issue in the field of religious studies. While some controversial religious groups have managed to acquire and to keep the right to run schools on confessional grounds, others are still struggling with sceptical authorities, sometimes for years on end. In recent years, it has become more difficult for religious minorities to educate children on religious basis in Sweden, especially with the recent ban on home schooling on religious grounds in 2010. This article outlines the history of education in The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Sweden. The article starts by giving a brief presentation of the history of ISKCON, its theological foundation and the practice expected by members. This is followed by a general description of the movement’s history and present status in Sweden. The article then recounts for the Swedish gurukula in its different phases from a historical perspective and finally, empirical material in the form of interviews with former gurukula students shed some light onto the variations in experiences of the school. Conclusively, the current state of education of young people within the group in Sweden today is briefly accounted for.