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Head of Research Area

Head of Research Area

Dr Sci. Prof. Efim A. Rezvan

Head of Research Area at Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Science (MAE RAS), Head of International Center for Islamic Studies at MAE RAS, Editor-in-Chief of Manuscripta Orientalia, Director of Saint Petersburg Museum of Islamic Culture.


Phone: +7 (812) 328-41-51 (office)

Fax: +7 (812) 328-08-11



From 1984 to 2000, Dr. Rezvan worked at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He held positions from Senior assistant to Deputy director for research. Since 2000, he has worked at MAE RAS; from 2000 to 2019, he was a Deputy Director for Research. Efim Rezvan is Editor-in-Chief of Manuscripta Orientalia academic journal. He is a member of the Editorial Committee of the international research and publishing project Early Qur’ans: The Era of the Prophet, the Right Guided Caliphs and the Umayyades (Noseda Foundation, Italy) devoted to studying and publication of ancient Qur’anic manuscripts. Dr. Rezvan was among the developers of Sakhr Automatic Reader, an automatic recognition system of Arabic script widely used today in the Arab East. Since 2006, Dr. Rezvan has been a Professor Emeritus at the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue at The Dmitry Likhachev Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage. Dr. Rezvan is on editorial boards of several national and international academic journals and book series, including the Culture and Ideology of the Muslim East series, Kunstkamera Archives, and Manuscripta Orientalia electronic book series. He is a member of several scientific societies, convener of international academic congresses held in St. Petersburg, and the author of numerous articles for Russian and foreign scholarly encyclopedias. He is the author and curator of several exhibition projects displayed in Russia, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Greece, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the USA, Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Estonia. He created a series of documentaries for Rusiya Alyaum (Russia Today) TV Channel. His documentary films were demonstrated at various scientific and cultural events in Great Britain, Greece, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, PRC, Finland, and France.


1991 Doctor of Historical Sciences, the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Ethnography, USSR Academy of Sciences. Dissertation, title: The Qur’an as a Historical Source and a Literary Monument.

1989 post-doctoral fellowship at Institut d’Etudes Arabes et Islamiques, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)

1984 Candidate of Historical Sciences, the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Ethnography, USSR Academy of Sciences. Dissertation title: Ethnosocial Terminology of the Qur’an as a Source on the History and Ethnography of Arabia at the Turn of the 6th and 7th Centuries. Advisors: Dr. Piotr Griaznevich and Dr. Sergio Noja Noseda (Italy).

1980 Specialist diploma with honors, Department of Arabic Philology, Faculty of Oriental Languages, the Leningrad State University.


Islamic studies; history and ethnography of the peoples of the Near and Middle East; history and ethnography of the peoples of Central Asia; visual anthropology; ethnic museology; historiography, source studies and methodology of ethnography; Qur’anic studies; the Qur’anic ethnography; the diversity of Islamic world.


Professor Rezvan conducted extensive fieldwork in Yemen (1989, 2007), Uzbekistan (2001, 2004, 2005), Vietnam (2005), India (2002, 2005), Sri Lanka and Maldives (2009), the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong (2005, 2008), Egypt (2006, 2007), Ethiopia (2008, 2009, 2010), Tanzania and Zanzibar (2010), Indonesia (Sumatra, 2013), Kazakhstan (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015), Oman (2016), and Jordan (2017, 2019).


Dr. Rezvan conducted invited lectures at the Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (the Smolny College) of Saint Petersburg State University; at Stanford University Moscow Centre; at Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg; at the Kazan Federal University; M. Auezov South Kazakhstan State University; University College London, Qatar campus; at Boris Yeltsin Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic in Bishkek. He delivered public lectures in Kuwait, Indonesia, Oman, Great Britain, Iran and Qatar.


Dr. Rezvan is the author of over 300 scholarly works, including 16 monographs, 15 exhibition catalogues, published in Russian, English, Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Uzbek, Finnish, Persian, Ukrainian, Tatar, and other languages. He is the founder of a new research area, the Qur’anic ethnography. Most of his works in Islamic and Qur’anic studies are based on the study of manuscript and archival collections (including discovery, attribution, scientific description and publication of one of the oldest and most important Qur’anic manuscripts – the so-called Qur’an of ‘Uthman, that was worshiped by the Muslims of Central Asia as the first original manuscript of the Holy text for nearly five hundred years).

2019. Man in the Qur'an and pre-Islamic poetry. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University Press, 270 p. In Russian. Co-authored with Yu. Kudriavtseva

2014. Introduction to Quranistics. Kazan: Kazan University Press, 408 pp. In Russian.

2013. The Qur’an and Muslim Manuscript Tradition. Selected articles. St. Petersburg: MAE RAS. Electronic book. Co-authored with M. Rezvan.

2012. The Qur’an and its world. St. Petersburg: MAE RAS. Electronic book. 2011. The Qur’an in Russia. Dubai. In Arabic.

2000. The Qur'an and its interpretations. St. Petersburg: Peterburgskoe Vostokovedeniie, 208 p. In Russian.

1994. Russian ships in the Gulf, 1899-1903. London: Ithaca Press, 165 p.


2005 winner of the Russian “Book of the Year” Award, HUMANITAS nomination.

2005 winner of the Second International Contest among CIS countries. “The Art of Book in the Dialogue of Cultures” nomination.

2005 UNESCO Diploma for the best edition making a significant contribution to the dialogue of cultures.

2005 winner, the Exhibition of Qur’ans in Tehran.

2002 winner of the National Book of the Year Award, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

2001 UNESCO Diploma for the best edition making a significant contribution to the culture of peace and nonviolence and the dialogue among civilizations.

2001 National Book of the Year Award by the Federal Agency for publications and mass communications of Russia and the Association of Publishers of Russia.

1998 Soka University Honorary Award (Tokyo).

1998 Prize of the Asian Muslims Committee (Tashkent) for participating in the project Islam on the territory of the former Russian Empire.