The Tenth Parallel by Eliza Griswold
Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam

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Synopsis

A riveting investigation of the jagged fault line between the Christian and Muslim worlds


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. More than half of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims live along the tenth parallel; so do sixty percent of the world's 2 billion Christians. Here, in the buzzing megacities and swarming jungles of Africa and Asia, is where the two religions meet; their encounter is shaping the future of each faith, and of whole societies as well.


An award-winning investigative journalist and poet, Eliza Griswold has spent the past seven years traveling between the equator and the tenth parallel: in Nigeria, the Sudan, and Somalia, and in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The stories she tells in The Tenth Parallel show us that religious conflicts are also conflicts about land, water, oil, and other natural resources, and that local and tribal issues are often shaped by religious ideas. Above all, she makes clear that, for the people she writes about, one's sense of God is shaped by one's place on earth; along the tenth parallel, faith is geographic and demographic.


An urgent examination of the relationship between faith and worldly power, The Tenth Parallel is an essential work about the conflicts over religion, nationhood and natural resources that will remake the world in the years to come.

 

About Eliza Griswold

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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.
 
Published August 17, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 333 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Tenth Parallel

Kirkus Reviews

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Stories of strife and self-identity around the beltway just north of the Equator, from Africa to Indonesia, where Christianity and Islam have shared an uneasy 1,500-year history.

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The New York Times

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In 1905, she writes, he “declared it illegal for Christian missionaries to evangelize among Muslims to the north of the 10th parallel, and eventually Muslim traders could not travel to the south of it.” This division won the British the favor of their Muslim puppet leaders in the north, but of co...

Aug 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

The New York Times

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Griswold visited a local Muslim king, the emir of Wase, in his hilltop castle in 2006 to hear him bemoan the worsening outbreaks of religious violence — which had taken tens of thousands of lives — that neither his clout as a traditional leader nor his Ph.D.

Aug 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

The Guardian

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There has been coexistence – intermingling, even – for centuries along parts of the "faultline": living proof comes in the form of a Muslim herder with a Coptic cross tattooed on his cheek Griswold meets in Plateau State, Nigeria.

Apr 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

Publishers Weekly

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As examples of war-rejecters, multifaith, and environmental advocates, the author introduces many organizations and individuals with hopes for peace, such as the Nigerian pastor, who, in addition to working with a Muslim imam to stop fighting between their communities, also distributes green stov...

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Los Angeles Times

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If the dotted line here marks major gaps in understanding, it also conjures a verse from the Koran — one that echoes the Bible and opens "The Tenth Parallel": "Father, forgive them, they do not know."

Sep 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

In a vicious cycle, Griswold shows how religion brought from elsewhere often amplifies local conflict, and how local conflict couches itself in religious terms.

Aug 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

PopMatters

For example, in Nigeria, which is almost evenly split between Christians and Muslims, changing global weather patterns such as increased drought and flooding are forcing Muslim herders from the north to drift south and encroach on farmland owned by sedentary Christians, thereby sparking clashes t...

Aug 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

truthdig

As the welfare state continues to be attacked and the punishing state increasingly criminalizes social issues, extending from homelessness and peaceful protest to dress code violations in public schools, academics and other cultural workers should not, under the guise of professionalism, remove t...

Apr 11 2013 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

truthdig

The inquiry was closed when it found no evidence that the analyst had leaked classified material, but the documents reveal that Assange may have been designated an enemy of the United States—the same status as the Taliban and al-Qaida—as the analyst was under investigation for the crime of “Commu...

Sep 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatche...

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