Dr. Amir Hussain is Chair and Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches courses on religion. His own particular speciality is the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary Muslim societies in North America. 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. For the Fall semester of 2016, he was on a fellowship to the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California. From 2011 to 2015, Amir was the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion. He is President of the American Academy 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; the Ethiopian Journal of Religious Studies; Religious Studies and Theology; 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. He was an advisor for the television series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, and appears regularly on Ancient Aliens and The UnXplained with William Shatner. 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 co-editor for the fourth edition of A Concise Introduction to World Religions, published by Oxford University Press in 2019. He is also the co-editor for the fifth editions of World Religions: Western Traditions, and World Religions: Eastern Traditions, textbooks published in 2018 by OUP. In 2016, he wrote Muslims and the Making of America, published by Baylor University Press. Prior to those books, he wrote an introduction to Islam for North Americans entitled Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God (Kelowna: Copper House, 2006). He has published over 60 book chapters and scholarly articles about religion.