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The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam Paperback – August 2, 2011
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About the Author
Eliza Griswold, a fellow at the New America Foundation, received a 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Her journalism has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Harper's Magazine, among others. A 2007 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she was awarded the first Robert I. Friedman Award for investigative reporting. A collection of her poems, Wideawake Field, was published by FSG in 2007.
“Eliza Griswold's The Tenth Parallel deals with a geographical slice of the Muslim world spanning Africa and Asia. With a sharp eye and equally sharp wit, Griswold dissects the events and issues that have gripped the region, uncovering their nature through memorable encounters and personalities. The story brims with insightful details and instructive lessons. Seldom does a book of this nature ranging over such vast terrain succeed in maintaining a steady focus and an engaging lightness of touch. In her hands, Islam resounds through the voice of Muslims, and religion lives through its followers and devotees. The book is a triumph of the human imagination and capacity for intercultural exploration.” ―Lamin Sanneh, author of Whose Religion is Christianity?
“Eliza Griswold's talent runs through this book like a blinding light. Through her daring travel, quiet observation, empathy and gift for language, she humanizes and clarifies conflicts in Africa and Asia that are often neglected or misunderstood. The Tenth Parallel is both vitally important and beautifully written.” ―Steve Coll, author of The Bin Ladens
“Ingeniously conceived and beautifully wrought, The Tenth Parallel traces the uneasy fault line of two great faiths, which have so much bloody history between them. In exploring the potent tensions that underlie so many of the conflicts of the present age, Eliza Griswold gives us a rare look at how complex and interwoven these two cultures actually are.” ―Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower
“In this revolutionary work, Griswold has dedicated the last seven years of her life to traveling in the world's least known places to explore the encounter between Christianity and Islam in Africa and Asia. She has brought back the unforgettable stories of Christians and Muslims along the tenth parallel whose faith is shaping the world's future. Griswold's courageous pilgrimage changes the way we think about Christianity and Islam by exploding any simplistic "clash" narrative. She returns us to the most basic truth of human existence: that the world and its people are interconnected.” ―Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Based on years of first hand experience and observation, The Tenth Parallel is a deeply impressive achievement, which so often challenges our common assumptions. The book will be immensely rewarding for anyone who wants to make sense of the relationship between those long-estranged sister faiths, Christianity and Islam. It should be required reading for policy makers, and for anyone interested in the spiritual dimensions of the "clash of civilizations.” ―Philip Jenkins, author of Jesus Wars
“The Tenth Parallel is one of the most important books you will ever read. Eliza Griswold combines the fearlessness of an investigative journalist and the bold vision of a poet to take readers on a perilous journey along the fault line between Islam and Christianity. No one else could have written this book.” ―Reza Aslan, author of No god but God
“Eliza Griswold is an intrepid and brilliant reporter. She has written a fascinating, nuanced account of Christian-Muslim relations along the fault line of the tenth parallel that puts the arm-chair punditry about "the clash of civilizations" to shame. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand how religion is actually lived and experienced in Africa and Asia.” ―Frances FitzGerald, author of Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth
“Eliza Griswold has long been one of my favorite magazine writers, and many of us have been awaiting this book with the fervent anticipation of a J. K. Rowling fan. And The Tenth Parallel does not in any way disappoint. It is brave, sad, informative, and deeply empathetic. I quake a little to think of what Ms. Griswold had to endure to come back with this book, and these stories, but we and the literary world are all the richer for it.” ―Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things
“Eliza Griswold is a courageous reporter, a gifted writer, and an acute observer of life. In The Tenth Parallel she takes us on a crucially illuminating tour of some of the most volatile terrain in the world, acquainting us with people who are far away both spatially and culturally but whose fates are intertwined with our own.” ―Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God
“Eliza Griswold, poet and war correspondent, takes her readers on a journey through the birthplace of terror. She marches into unspeakably frightening places, alone, with only her pen as protection. And then she speaks. The poetry of Griswold's prose draws the reader in, even as she foretells great terrors to come. The Tenth Parallel is an important book by a courageous American.” ―Jessica Stern, author of Terror In The Name Of God
Top Customer Reviews
But the book goes beyond that, as Ms Griswold explores the why and the localities of these conflicts. She puts a historical and geographical context in her interviews. There are different manifestations of these `radicals' - some, like in Nigeria, seem to have exhausted hate and rhetoric and hopefully the truce established will not expire. What is also apparent with these religious extremists is their intolerance of liberal religious views in the West. Religions in the Western world receptive to Gays, pro-choice, woman's rights, general openness to sexuality ... are an apostasy to fundamentalist Christians and Muslims in the tenth parallel. There is another religion in the areas discussed by Ms. Griswold where there are no shades of grey. Sometimes we have a view of this in the U.S. when abortion clinics are bombed. But I don't know how the `born-again' evangelicals in the U.S. would fit in or adapt to Africa or Asia. As the writer points out, religion in these countries is a way of life because there is no government infrastructure that they can rely on for social and economic support.
There is among both Muslims and Christians in Africa and Asia a strong tendency to revert and restore a view of the way religion was several centuries ago - a literal view of the Quran or the Bible. So this is another clash with modernity. It is difficult to see a resolution of this religious conflict with modernity. It did seem that Muslims in Malaysia were successful at this.Read more ›
I like the way Eliza Griswold went to see with her eyes what is happening in Africa and Asia, in common people life, and ho w she can mix history, research, journalism and vivid images of what she experiences and saw.
Religion is not the only issue of this long travelling around the world, where islam and cristiany meet and arrive and clash, in so long time and so different ways. There is so much to tell about economy and geography and education in this slow reportage and essay with no thesis and no answers.
As somebody said: geography is a destiny.
In The Tenth Parallel, Griswold explores the clashes between Islam and Christianity in Africa and Asia. She breaks her chapters down into a series of personal anecdotes which are arranged into segments based on nations. The African nations include Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia. The Asian countries are Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Griswold carefully explores the issues at the cellular level, interviewing leaders on both sides of the conflict wherever she travels. She draws interesting parallels between Christianity and Islam, drawn directly from statements made in her interviews.
Griswold is careful to create a delicate balance without taking sides. Griswold simply captures the political and religious climates in the various regions and examines the factors that benefit one religion over the other and socio-economic influences that drive much of the fighting. In addition to her brave and thorough reporting, Griswold manages to take her somewhat dry material and make it engaging. Griswold uses her incredible grasp of language to convey her subjects with enough dimension to allow the reader to visualize her own experiences.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent review of the geophysical religious divide. A sociological masterpiece.Published 13 months ago by Peter J. Piaseckyj
An excellent book that helped me understand how complex the Muslim vs. Christian issue is in Africa and Asia. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Randy Williams
The book is a series of interviews and anecdotes fleshing out the struggles of survival and the competition between Christianity and Islam. Read morePublished 14 months ago by MICHAEL Y.