Loyola Marymount University professor Dr. Amir Hussain to speak at Fairfield University on Muslim-Christian connections


Image: Dr. Hussain

In a Fairfield University lecture on Thursday, March 25 at 8 p.m., author and scholar Dr. Amir Hussain will talk about issues connecting North American Muslims and Christians, with a focus on interfaith work done at Jesuit universities. The event, which is sponsored by the Religious Studies Department, will be held in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. Admission is free.

Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world, but similarities between the two theologies, even those that are thousands of years old, may not be immediately apparent. "Some of the connections that we share may be surprising to you," said Dr. Nancy Dallavalle, chair of the Religious Studies Department at Fairfield University. "Connections that will be discussed between Christians and Muslims go back to the 8th century and the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most exquisite illuminated gospels."

In a talk entitled "Jesuit Universities and Muslim Communities: Building Faith Neighbors," Dr. Hussain will discuss the roles of the 34th (1995) and 35th (2008) Jesuit General Congregations in promoting interfaith dialogue. He will also talk about how Muslims have responded to such initiatives and the important lessons American Muslims can learn from American Catholics.

Dr. Hussain specializes in the study of Islam and contemporary Muslim societies in North America. He is one of a small group of Muslim scholars who teach theology in Catholic universities. He is the author of "Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God," (2006) and has contributed to numerous books, including a chapter entitled "Why Am I A Muslim" in "Why Am I A Believer?," edited by Arvind Sharma (2009). In 2008, he was appointed as a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. He has also served as the religious advisor to the television show "Saving Grace" from 2007-2009.

Since 2005, he has been a faculty member at Loyola Marymount University in California, where he is currently a professor of theology and serves as the Vice President of the Faculty Senate.

Dr. Hussain earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a M.A. from the University of Toronto. He has been an instructor and lecturer at California State University, Northridge.

by Traci Dantoni, Class of 2010

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 17, 2010