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The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Faultline Between Christianity and Islam Hardcover – 3 Feb 2011
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A very courageous and challenging account of the tensions between Muslims and Christians that refuses to settle with any damaging stereotypes, focusing instead on the extraordinary potential for reconciliation and understanding in the lives of ordinary believers. (Rowan Williams, Archbishop Of Canterbury )
In this revolutionary work, Griswold ... 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 )
The Tenth Parallel is one of the most important books you will ever read ... No one else could have written this book (Reza Aslan, Author Of 'no God But God' )
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 ... Eliza Griswold gives us a rare look at how complex and interwoven these two cultures actually are (Lawrence Wright, Author Of 'the Looming Tower' )
Intense and often beautifully written ... It is a fabulous piece of reportage. (Jason Burke Literary Review )
Griswold's confrontations with preachers of evil, her forays into war zones and here determination to listen and explain took guts ... Mediators could learn much from her pilgrimage. (Michael Binyon The Times )
The Tenth Parallel is a beautifully written book, full of arresting stories woven around a provocative issue. (Linda Robinson The Scotsman )
About the Author
Eliza Griswold, a fellow at the New America Foundation, received both the first Robert I. Friedman Award for investigative reporting and a 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and wasa 2007 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Her journalism has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker,The New York Times Magazine, and Harper's Magazine, among others. A collection of her poems, Wideawake Field, was published by FSG in 2007. The Tenth Parallel is her first book and is the result of seven years' research and reporting across the tenth parallel.
Top customer reviews
The truth is vastly more complex, and Eliza Griswold's book "The Tenth Parallel" is an invaluable exploration of the bewildering forces at work in a rapidly shrinking world. The "Tenth Parallel" is a line of latitude across the world, stretching from Africa to the Far East, which is the meeting-point between very different worlds, North and South (or "developed and "developing") the West and the Rest, Christian and Moslem. Religion, politics, economics, hostile climate, geography, scarcity of resources, population, and constant migration are all ingredients in a very volatile mixture. In many ways the Tenth Parallel can be compared to the fault line between gigantic tectonic plates on the earth's crust, where destructive earthquakes are part and parcel of daily life.
Griswold's book, which is a collection of her journalistic dispatches over seven years along the Tenth Parallel, covers a wide spectrum. It gives us insights into the complex forces at work and the effects they have on the lives of individuals, families and communities, from conflict over scarce resources and land to the courageous efforts of a Moslem mullah and a Christian pastor to foster peace in a Nigerian town. We get some idea what it must be like to live in an area where government as we understand it is almost non-existent, and where "political" authority is little more than a means of self-enrichment for those who hold it. Where the struggle for survival involves people of different faiths, then faith all too often simply adds divine fuel to the fire.
This book is both enlightening and disturbing, and is a valuable resource for anyone who is trying to understand more about the bewildering times we live in.
In many, mostly poor, countries where the population is split between Christianity and Islam, each religion is desperate to expand and dominate by procreation and evangelism. Politicians seem to encourage this enmity and competition because it keeps them in power and keeps the population preoccupied.
With half the population aged under eighteen, it is not difficult to see why there is so much religious fanaticism and homophobia. The author is the daughter of a former presiding bishop in the Anglican Church in the US and has seen at first hand the seemingly intractable problems within the Anglican Communion. She writes well. She may be a journalist but she is not a `hack'. She shows generosity and is most gracious towards those with whom she disagrees and shows great empathy.
There are some glimmers of hope. There are some Muslim and Christian leaders who work tirelessly together to dispel and `deprogramme' intolerance and hatred. But we need more of them.