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Visit of the delegation of one of the leading universities of Qatar to St. Petersburg State University

The delegation of Hamad bin Khalifa University (Qatar) headed by Adam al-Saadi, Director of Public Relations and Student Affairs visited Saint Petersburg University. The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the English-language educational programs of graduate and post-graduate programs at St. Petersburg State University, as well as to establish scientific cooperation.
Professor of St. Petersburg State University , Deputy Head of the Laboratory, O. Redkin suggested coworking with the Qatari side in the areas of translation from Russian into Arabic and interdisciplinary studies on politics, economics and intercultural communication. He added that this year took place the first graduation of students of the new educational program “Islamic Studies”. Gradautes of the Programm received high appointments from the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation.

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Laboratory members and students of Islamic Studies Program at the meeting of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society

On October 3the Grand Opening of the Conference “200 years of diplomatic support of the Russian presence in the Middle East: the history of the creation and activities of the Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire” was held at the Hermitage Theater. The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by: Chairman of Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society Sergey Stepashin, Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky, and other officials, diplomats and specialists, as well as foreign diplomats from the Middle East. Members of the Laboratory Oleg Redkin and Olga Bernikova participated in the meeting, as well as students of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies of St. Petersburg State University, studying at the bachelor’s program “Islamic Studies” and “Arabic Philology”.

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Lectures of Vladimir Bobrovnikov at the Faculty of Asian and African Studies of St. Petersburg State University

On October 2 at St. Petersburg State University, Vadimir Bobrovnikov from the Department of Central Asia and the Caucasus at the Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences delivered lectures for students of undergraduate and graduate programs in Islamic studies.

The first lecture, “Legal Pluralism and Customs among Muslims of the Russian Empire,” was devoted to various aspects of the interaction of three sources of law: adat, Sharia and secular law, as well as concerned the activities of Muslim judges and the specifics of the functioning of the waqf institution. In the second lecture, “The cult of saints in Islam: discourses, practices, politics,” Vladimir Bovrovnikov spoke about the variety of approaches to studying the Ziyara (visiting sacred objects) ritual in domestic and world Islamic studies and the attitude to this rite in various regions of the Muslim world.

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Participation of Oleg Redkin and Olga Bernikova at the IX International Forum “Islam in a Multicultural World” (Kazan)

On June 26-27, the IX International Forum “Islam in a Multicultural World” was held at Kazan Federal University. According to the organizers of the Forum, the main purpose of its holding is to unite the scientific forces of experts in Islamic studies through the exchange of information on scientific achievements and the coordination of collaboration in this area.

Members of the Laboratory staff took part in the section “Teaching the Arabic language using the sacred texts”, presenting reports:


Oleg Redkin – “The Quran and the study of Arabic at secular university”;


Olga Bernikova – “Features of teaching Arabic in a digital society”.

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Workshop for translation of the book “Mapping the Secular Mind: Modernity’s Quest for a Godless Utopia”

On June 25, the Scientific Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes at St. Petersburg State University held a seminar with Dr. Beddy Ebnou, director of the Institute for Epistemological Studies (Brussels), Dr. Khaled Abu Nakhleh, director of the Institute of Integrated Knowledge (Comprehensive Knowledge Institute, Azerbaijan) and Dr. Haggag Ali (Egypt).

The focus was on a discussion over Haggag Ali’s book “Mapping the Secular Mind: Modernity’s Quest for a Godless Utopia,” published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought. During the seminar, the members of the Laboratory discussed with the guests various aspects of the translation of the book into Russian.

In addition to discussing the book, the seminar was devoted to other issues, for example, the possibilities of cooperation in other areas, including joint educational projects.

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Digest of articles in honor of the anniversary of Professor Oleg Redkin

For the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the head of the Department of Arabic Philology of St. Petersburg State University, Professor Oleg Redkin, a collection of articles entitled “Innovations and Traditions in Arabic and Islamic Studies” was edited by Olga Bernikova and Alexander Knysh.

A wide range of interests of the professor determined the topics of the sections of the collection: “Oriental Studies”, “Islamic Studies”, “Linguistics and Arabic”, “Interdisciplinary Studies” and others. Separate sections are devoted to general issues of oriental studies and pedagogy. Among the authors of the articles professor`s friends and colleagues, including leading Arabic and Islamic scholars, as well as young scientists. The collection contains articles by all members of the Laboratory.

The texts of the articles could be found here.

Production of the online course “Arabic language. Part 2”

We are glad to announce that the registration is continuing for the online course “Arabic language. Part 2″. Course is headed by Professor Oleg Redkin, among the creators of the course are Associate Professor Olga Bernikova, graduate students of St. Petersburg State University Vladimir Rozov and Oleg Sokolov. The course is a continuation of the previous course “Arabic. Introductory course.” During the training, students will continue to become familiar with the morphology of the Arabic language and its syntax. The communication skills would be developed through listening and studying thematic dialogs, which are presented in the form of short videos. The dialogue texts are provided with Russian translation and audio files. Each module includes a dictionary with vocabulary used in it. Based on the results of the course, students are expected to learn at least 1000 lexical units. The course consists of 10 modules, each of which includes grammar material, dialogue and exercises for homework.

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Recommencement of Webinars with the University of Michigan

Since September 11, the weekly webinars have resumed with the University of Michigan. During the classes, bachelor students and graduate students of St. Petersburg State University, including whose who study at the program for training specialists with in-depth study of the history and culture of Islam discuss with their American counterparts the development of Muslim mysticism (Sufism). As in the past academic year, classes are held under the guidance of Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, the Head of the Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes, Alexander D. Knysh.

The first meetings were devoted to the influence of the ideas of Neo-Platonism on the development of Islamic mysticism and the role of Sufism in the modern world. During the fruitful discussion held in an open setting, various problems of the genesis of mystical ideas in Islam, the relationship between asceticism and mysticism, the role and possibility of practicing asceticism in the modern technological world, as well as the similarities and differences between the mystical currents of different religions were discussed.

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Keeping up with the times: making of an open online course “Islam: history, culture and practice”

Staff of the Scientific Laboratory on the analysis and modeling of social processes are actively involved in making of the online course “Islam: history, culture and practice”.

The course examines and analyzes the emergence of Islam as a religious teaching and practice, as well as its subsequent development as a cultural and socio-political tradition in various historical and cultural circumstances and regions. The course examines the struggle of ideas and the clash of socio-political movements, based on various interpretations of the foundations of Muslim dogma. The cornerstone of the methodological complex of this educational complex is the concept of internal diversity, “multidimensionality” and “polyphony” of the Muslim tradition, as well as the dynamics of its interaction with non-Islamic value systems, religions and societies.

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Laboratory staff took part in the XXIX International Congress on Historiography and Source Studies of Asia and Africa “Asia and Africa: their Heritage and Modernity”

On April 21-23, 2017, XXIX International Congress on Historiography and Source Studies of Asia and Africa took place at the Faculty of Asian and African Studies of St. Petersburg State University. First organized as early as 1961, the conference became today one of the largest platforms for meetings of russian and foreign Orientalists, and since 2017 received congress status.

The congress program included 21 sections, in which more than three hundred reports were presented. The presentations were made by researchers from Moscow, Kazan, Ufa and other centers of Russian oriental studies, as well as scientists from the UK, USA, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, the Netherlands and Greece.

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