The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Faultline between Christianity and Islam

Eliza Griswold

The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Faultline between Christianity and Islam

The tenth parallel — the line of latitude seven hundred miles north of the equator — is a geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. Across much of inland Africa and Asia, from Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, live more than half of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, and sixty percent of the world's 2 billion Christians. On both sides of the line, the religions and their people are experiencing reawakenings of faith — and in their buzzing megacities and swarming jungle, the encounters between the two faiths is shaping the future. Eliza Griswold, who has spent the past seven years travelling the space between the equator and the tenth parallel, asks if it is possible to determine where faith ended and secular violence began, and explores the role religion actually plays in struggles over resources and political power. 3.5 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Faultline between Christianity and Islam

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Religion & Spirituality, Society, Politics & Philosophy, Travel
Format Hardback
Pages 336
RRP £25.00
Date of Publication February 2011
ISBN 978-1846144219
Publisher Allen Lane
 

The tenth parallel — the line of latitude seven hundred miles north of the equator — is a geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. Across much of inland Africa and Asia, from Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, live more than half of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, and sixty percent of the world's 2 billion Christians. On both sides of the line, the religions and their people are experiencing reawakenings of faith — and in their buzzing megacities and swarming jungle, the encounters between the two faiths is shaping the future. Eliza Griswold, who has spent the past seven years travelling the space between the equator and the tenth parallel, asks if it is possible to determine where faith ended and secular violence began, and explores the role religion actually plays in struggles over resources and political power.

The Q&A: Eliza Griswold | The Economist

Reviews

The New York Times

Linda Robinson

Since Americans commonly equate Islam with the Arab Middle East, this book is a useful reminder that four-fifths of Muslims live elsewhere … a beautifully written book, full of arresting stories

19/08/2010

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The Times

Michael Binyon

She writes beautifully ... With a sharp eye for political opportunism, a hatred of prejudice, a keen sense of history and a gentle faith that recoils from its barbaric extremism, she explains, more than any newspaper headlines, what has gone wrong.

29/01/2011

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The Literary Review

Jason Burke

It is a fabulous piece of reportage. Griswold, also a poet, works mainly for the American magazines who are the only organisations these days with the resources, confidence and interest to send skilled, sensitive and literate people out to far-off places for many weeks with a brief to come back and tell other people what is happening there and why. This book shows that, in an age when more and more reporters spend their days chained to a computer filing two stories a day and barely getting to meet the people they are writing about, such immersion is immensely valuable. Above all it allows the voices of real people to reach others via the journalist’s (hopefully) unassuming intermediary role.

01/02/2011

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The New York Times

Mark Oppenheimer

Ms. Griswold’s outlook is fairly hopeless ... which leaves the reader grateful for moments of whimsy and absurdity: the demographer trying to catalog how every Christian martyr in history died (“roasted alive, sawed in two, thrown from airplane”); the Indonesian terrorist whose Facebook page proclaims him a fan of Ashton Kutcher.

17/08/2010

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The Washington Post

Michael Mewshaw

... The Tenth Parallel draws heavily on articles published over several years in newspapers and magazines. When they were stitched together into a book, extraneous material somehow escaped the copy editor's blue pencil and has left lumpy seams ... Still, Griswold deserves credit for going where so few dare to venture.

22/08/2010

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The Financial Times

Richard Dowden

Griswold’s assertion is that these clashes are fundamentally religious; a global contest for hearts and minds based on opposing theologies. But as she digs deeper, other more earthly factors — ethnicity, culture, land disputes, trade routes — provide stronger motives for war, rather undermining her case.

19/02/2011

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The Independent

Peter Stanford

There is much that is fresh and arresting in this book, but it has its flaws. At its simplest, Griswold is not a natural travel writer — a painter of memorable scenes or a teller of stories that linger in the memory. Her prose is more workaday. And I remained confused about her motives. Only on page 51 does she declare an interest — as the daughter of the retired head of the Episcopalian (Anglican) Church in America — and it takes until page 116 for her to attempt (and fail) to explain her own take on faith.

11/02/2011

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