Clemens Cavallin was born in Lund, southern Sweden, in 1969. He began studies in Religious studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1988, and 1989 in Fine Art (painting) at Valand Academy, Gothenburg.
In 1995, he graduated both with a bachelor degree in History of Religions (minor subjects Philosophy and Art history) and with a diploma in Fine Art (five years of study). The same year, he began studies in Sanskrit and enrolled at the Ph. D. program in History of religion at the University of Gothenburg with a focus on Asian religions.
In 2002, he defended his Ph. D. thesis named On the Efficacy of Sacrifice, which investigated views on sacrifice in the brahmanas, which are Vedic texts from the first millennium B. C.
Between 2003 and 2006, Clemens worked at the University of Bergen, Norway, as assistant professor in History of religions.
After the period in Norway, he returned to the University of Gothenburg to take up a position with a focus on Asian religions.
In 2013, Clemens published a book on the interiorization of rituals and in 2017 a biography of the Canadian artist and novelist Michael O’Brien. Clemens is presently working and on a project analyzing religious studies in India and one focusing on the idea and practice of Christian Yoga.
During fall semester 2013, Clemens taught at Haverford College in US.
Clemens has also once again taken up painting in 2015, after approximately fifteen years of intense focus on academic work. His ideal is a fruitful interaction between scholarly and artistic work.
He lives in Western Sweden, with his wife and six children in an old, large wooden house.
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.