James A. Toronto

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James Albert Toronto (born 1951) is a professor of Arabic language and Islamic religion at Brigham Young University (BYU). He was previously a professor of comparative religion at the same institution.


Mormon BYU Professor James Toronto with his wife Diane
Toronto was born in Indio, California, to Robert F. Toronto. James Toronto is a descendant of the early Joseph Toronto.[1] As a young man, Toronto also served a mission in Italy.

Toronto received his BA in English with minors in history and Italian from BYU. He then received his MA and PhD in Islamic and Arabic Studies from Harvard University.

Besides being a faculty member at BYU, Toronto has served as assistant director of BYU's David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and for three years was the director of BYU's Center for Cultural and Educational Affairs in Amman, Jordan.

Toronto has written several articles on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in both Italy and the Middle-East. He also edited and anotated the journals of Wilford Booth, which were published in 2004.

Toronto is married to the former Diane Gillett. They are the parents of two children.

He was the president of the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake from 1999 to 2007. Toronto has served as president of the Church's Italy Catania Mission since 2007.