Amir Hussain

Professor of Theological Studies
Department of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive, Suite 3700
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659, USA


Academic Background

  • Ph. D., University of Toronto, 2001
  • M. A., University of Toronto, 1990
  • B. Sc., University of Toronto, 1987


Current Areas of Research

Dr. Hussain teaches and publishes about Islam and Muslim lives. His research focuses on Muslim communities in North America. He also teaches about comparative religion and interfaith dialogue. For 2011 to 2015, he is the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion.

Courses Currently Teaching

Dr. Hussain is on sabbatical for the Fall 2011 semester. In the past, he has taught the following courses:

  • THST 180: Religions of the World
  • THST 386: Islam
  • THST 398: Muslim/Jewish Theology
  • THST 481: Islam in the Modern World
  • THST 680: Comparative Theology
  • THST 698: Islam and Interreligious Dialogue


Professional Bio

Dr. Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches courses on world religions. His own particular specialty is the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary Muslim societies in North America. Although born in Pakistan, Amir came to Canada with his family when he was four. His academic degrees (BSc, MA, PhD) are all from the University of Toronto where he received a number of awards, including the university’s highest award for alumni service. Amir’s PhD dissertation was on Muslim communities in Toronto. For 2011 to 2015, Amir is the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion.

He has a deep commitment to students, and holds the distinction of being the only male to serve as Dean of Women at University College, University of Toronto. Before coming to California in 1997, Amir taught courses in religious studies at several universities in Canada. He is active in academic groups such as the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion and the American Academy of Religion. He is on the editorial boards of four scholarly journals, the Journal of Religion, Conflict and Peace; Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life; the Ethiopian Journal of Religious Studies; and Comparative Islamic Studies. Amir is also interested in areas such as religion and music, religion and literature, religion and film and religion and popular culture. In 2008, he was appointed a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

Prior to his appointment at Loyola Marymount University, Amir taught at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) from 1997 to 2005. Amir won a number of awards at CSUN, both for his teaching and research. In 2001 he was selected for the outstanding faculty award by the National Center on Deafness. For the academic year 2003-04, he was selected as the Jerome Richfield Memorial Scholar. In both 2008 and 2009, Amir was chosen by vote of LMU students as the Professor of the Year. He is the editor for the third edition of World Religions: Western Traditions, a textbook published by Oxford University Press in 2010. Prior to that book, he wrote an introduction to Islam for North Americans entitled Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God (Kelowna: Copper House, 2006). In addition, since 2005, Amir has written over 25 book chapters or scholarly articles about Islam and Muslims.


Selected Publications


  • Willard G. Oxtoby and Amir Hussain, Editors, World Religions: Western Traditions, third edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press. "Muslims and Sexual Diversity in North America", Momin Rahman and Amir Hussain, a chapter in David Rayside and Clyde Wilcox, Editors, Faith, Politics, and Sexual Diversity in Canada and the United States. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, pp. 255-274.


  • "Images of Muhammad in literature, art, and music", a chapter in Jonathan E. Brockopp, Editor, The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 274-292."Cham Muslims: A Marginalized Minority Within a Minority", a chapter in Rick Nahmias, Editor, Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp. 147-154."Terminological Problems for Muslim Lives", a chapter in Richard C. Martin and Abbas Barzegar, Editors, Islamism: Contested Perspectives on Political Islam. Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 57-62."(Re)presenting: Muslims on North American Television", an article in Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life, Vol. 4, No. 1, April, pp. 55-75."North American Muslim Perspectives on Death and Dying", a chapter in Lucy Bregman, Editor, Religion, Death, and Dying: Volume 1: Perspectives on Dying and Death. Santa Barbara: Praeger, pp. 135-147.Roy C. Amore and Amir Hussain, "About Religion", and Amir Hussain and Roy C. Amore, "Current Issues", chapters in Willard G. Oxtoby and Roy C. Amore, Editors, World Religions: Eastern Traditions, third edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press, pp. 2-26 and 364-381.


  • "Why Am I a Muslim", a chapter in Arvind Sharma, Editor, Why Am I A Believer? New Delhi: Penguin Books, pp. 325-61."Islam", a chapter in John Lyden, Editor, The Routledge Companion to Religion and Film. London: Routledge, pp. 131-140."‘The Fire Next Time’: Sleeper Cell and Muslims on Television Post 9/11", a chapter in Diane Winston, Editor, Small Screen / Big Picture: Television and Lived Religion. Waco: Baylor University Press, pp. 153-170."Islam in the Plural", a chapter in Amyn Sajoo, Editor, A Companion to the Muslim World. London: Institute of Ismaili Studies, pp. 87-105."On Teaching Islam and the Future of Christian-Muslim Relations", a chapter in John Borelli, Editor, A Common Word and the Future of Christian-Muslim Relations. Washington, DC: Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, pp. 81-92.


  • "From Tolerance to Dialogue: A Muslim perspective on interfaith dialogue with Christians", an article in Asian Christian Review, Vol. 2, Nos. 2 & 3, Summer/Winter, pp. 85- 97."The Diaspora in the West", a chapter in Andrew Rippin, Editor, The Islamic World. London: Routledge, pp. 131-142."‘Listen to the Dark’: Death and Dying in Music, Film and Literature", a chapter in Christopher M. Moreman, Editor, Teaching Death and Dying. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 213-226."Film and the Introduction to Islam Course", a chapter in Gregory J. Watkins, Editor, Teaching Religion and Film. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 141-153.Amitai Etzioni, Amir Hussain, Mohammed H. Fadel, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Stephen Schwartz, and Joergen Oerstroem Moeller, "The global importance of ‘illiberal moderates’, an exchange: partners in peace to precede a concert of democracies", an article in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 159-178."Thoughts on being a scholar of Islam and a Muslim in America post-9/11", a chapter in Bryan Rennie and Philip L. Tite, Editors, Religion, Terror and Violence: Religious Studies Perspectives. New York: Routledge, pp. 227-242.


  • "Life as a Muslim Scholar of Islam in Post 9/11 America", a chapter in Daniel Smith-Christopher, Editor, Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions, 10th Anniversary Edition. New York: Orbis Books, pp. 128-143.Amir Hussain and Mahmoud Ayoub, "The Islamic Tradition", a chapter in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan Segal, Editors, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. Toronto: Oxford University Press, pp. 198-257.


  • Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God. Kelowna, BC: Wood Lake Books. "An Accidental Theologian: Thoughts on Islam in Public and Private Religious Universities", an article in Cross Currents, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 160—168."Teaching about Hindus and Muslims in the USA: ‘And all they will call you will be deportee,’" a chapter in Edith Chen and Glenn Omatsu, Editors, Teaching about Asian–Pacific Islanders: Effective Activities, Strategies, and Assignments for Classrooms and Communities. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 139—152.


  • "Teaching Inside-Out: On Teaching Islam", an article in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 248–263."Reflections on Exile", an article in Amerasia Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 17—23.


Latest News

Dr. Hussain is on sabbatical for the Fall 2011 semester.

Personal Message

“Every year is World Hunger Year until we end world hunger”


Personal Website


Related Websites

Professor Hussain is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

Professor Hussain is the Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.