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James A. Toronto

Picture of James A. Toronto

Contact Information

Office: 3056 JFSB

Phone: 422-2494



James Toronto is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Brigham Young University, teaching courses in Islamic religion and humanities, Arabic language, and research methodology. He has conducted extensive field research in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Italy on topics such as educational reform, content of Islamic education textbooks, role of sharia law in Muslim communities, Muslim-Christian relations, and integration of religious minorities in the Middle East, Europe, and the US. He has published articles in various journals including the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs and the Journal of Mormon History and is currently co-editing a volume, to be published in 2015 by Ashgate Press in England, that examines issues related to constitutionalism, religious parties, and religious freedom in North Africa and the Middle East. His co-authored volume on the history of Mormon proselytism and integration in Italy will be published in 2015 by the Religious Studies Center at BYU. He has lived in Italy for five years and in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan) for ten years, teaching in international schools and studying Arabic language and literature. He has worked as a consultant on education projects for USAID and Harvard’s Institute for International Development in Egypt, and for AMIDEAST in the West Bank and Gaza. For four years, he served as assistant director of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at BYU, and for three years he was the director of BYU’s Center for Cultural and Educational Affairs in Amman, Jordan.


Degrees: B.A., Brigham Young University (major in English, minors in history and Italian)
M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University (Islamic Studies)