News and Announcements

Webinars with the University of Michigan

On Monday, February 20, 2017, at 18.00, the first international seminar in 2017 in the mode of videoconferencing between St. Petersburg State University and the University of Michigan (USA) was held.

It should be mantioned that the first seminar in this format, which also became the first experience of holding of this kind of events in the history of St. Petersburg State University, was held on April 18, 2016. Unlike last year, in 2017 a series of webinars is scheduled, which will make up the whole course devoted to the study of Islamic intellectual heritage. The course program includes topics such as speculative theology (Qalam), philosophy (falsafa), legal theory (fiqh), etc. The working language of all webinars will be English, and the moderators of the classes will be staff members of the Scientific Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes under the guidance of Professor of Islamic Studies of the Department Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan, Laboratory Director Alexander D. Knysh.

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The Day of Islamic History and Culture at St. Petersburg State University

The day of Wednesday, December 7, 2016, can rightly be called “The day of the history and culture of Islam” for the Faculty of Asian and African Studies of St. Petersburg State University . The program of events was extremely rich: students and staff of St. Petersburg State University had the opportunity to attend lectures of leading Russian Islamic scholars and Muslim religious leaders in one day.

The first lecture was held by D. Mukhetdinov, Imam-muhtasib of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.  The lector presented his books “Russian Islam: Ummah Traditions in the Conditions of Eurasian Civilization”, “Islam in Europe” and “Islam in XXI century: renovation program (collection of reports) “. The presentation took the form of a lecture, during which the author, in his characteristic bright and fascinating manner, spoke about the most topical issues and trends addressed in recent publications. D. Mukhetdinov outlined his vision of such topical issues as the situation of Muslim communities in Russia and Europe, problems and prospects of Islamic education in the Russian Federation, the current significance of the works of Muslim enlighteners of the past, the relationship between religion and ethnicity in the identity of Muslim communities.

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Ex Oriente Lux: First International Student Conference of Orientalists and Africanists

On November 11 and 12, 2016, Student scientific-practical conference “Ex Oriente Lux: First International Student Conference of Orientalists and Africanists” was organized on the basis of the Faculty of Oriental Studies of St. Petersburg State University.

Young researchers of the Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes, graduate students of the Department of Arabic Philology Vladimir Rozov and Oleg Sokolov took an active part in the conference. Beginning scholars made presentations at the plenary session “Analysis of the color elements of the manuscript relevant for its digital processing” and “Crusades in Arab historiography in the XX-XXI centuries”, respectively.

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Perspectives for the development of training programs for specialists with an in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Islam

On the 31 of October Moscow hosted a meeting of the working group on the organization and monitoring of the implementation of the action plan of the training of specialists with an in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Islam in 2014-2016.
During the meeting, the problems of the methodology for the implementation of educational programs, their educational and methodological support in the context of the current challenges facing Islamic and Islamic studies in the Russian Federation were discussed. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science V. Kaganov. The event was also attended by heads of educational institutions conducting a program “Training the students with an in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Islam” and the representatives of Muslim spiritual departments. St. Petersburg State University was represented by M. Lavrikova, Vice-Rector for Academic and Methodical Work, O. Redkin, Head of the Department of Arabic Philology, and O. Bernikova, head of the working group on the training of specialists with in-depth knowledge of Islam’s history and culture.

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Vladimir Bobrovnikov on Muhajirism and the State Regulation of Islam in the regions of the Russian Empire

October 19 Vladimir Bobrovnikov, Ph.D. in History, a research associate of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg State University gave a lecture and held a seminar фbout Muhajirism and the State Regulation of Islam in the regions of the Russian Empire. Among the participants were undergraduate and graduate students studying at the program of training specialists with in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of Islam.
The topic of the lecture is “Interregional Relations of Islam in the Context of the 19th Century Colonial Empires Muhajirism from the Russian Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire” met the genuine interest of students.

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Academic Exchange Experience

Principal Investigator of the Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes (Saint-Petersburg State University), Professor of Islamic Studies Department of Near Eastern Studies University of Michigan Alexander D. Knysh assisted in training of a student from the Kazakh National University Mr. Azamat Nurshanov. Mr. Nurshanov is a doctoral student of the Department of Religious and Cultural Studies at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, who specializes in the study of non-traditional religious movements in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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Introductory video lecture to the course “History and Culture of Islam”

September 11, 2015 at 04.00 p.m. an introductory video lecture to the course “History and Culture of Islam” was held at the Faculty of Asian and African Studies (St. Petersburg State University). The lecture was given by the head of the Laboratory for analysis and modeling of social processes, professor of the University of Michigan, Alexander D. Knysh. Such kind of workshops with students who are interested in studying history and culture of Islam are one of the prior areas of work of the Laboratory within the frames of training of young specialists.
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An Interdisciplinary Seminar on Muslim Epistemology

The Head of the Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes, Professor Alexander D. Knysh participated in the seminar “Knowing Islam: An Interdisciplinary Seminar on Muslim Epistemology”, which was held in the University of Michigan from August 31 to September 2, 2015. A. Knysh spoke on “The vicissitudes of Sufi Exegesis”.
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How books should not been written

August 2015, the review by Alexander Knysh to the book «The Charismatic Leadership Phenomenon in Radical and Militant Islam» by Haroro J. Ingram was published in the journal “Nova Religio” (vol. 19). Here you can find the full version of the review.

Conference of Young Scholars of Arabic Sudies.

On 28-29 May 2015 Institute of Oriental Manuscripts ( of the Russian Academy of Sciences) hosted a conference of young Arabic studies scholars. (more…)