Holy Cross Lecture to Explore Cradle of Christian-Muslim Relations

Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold, author of The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), will talk about her travels and research in North Africa and Central Asia, where high concentrations of Christians and Muslims live, in a lecture on Thursday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Rehm Library, Smith Hall, at the College of the Holy Cross.

The lecture is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity, presented by the College’s Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. It is free and open to the public.

Griswold spent much of the past seven years traveling in Africa and Asia between the equator and the line of latitude 700 miles to the north, known as the tenth parallel. It is here, far from the Middle East, where more than half of the world's two billion Christians live along with half of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims. She tells the 1,500-year-old story of how Christianity and Islam have come to intersect and interact and finds that the most important forces shaping the future of the world’s religions are those contests unfolding within them, not between them.

Griswold won the 2011 Anthony J. Lukas prize for The Tenth Parallel, a New York Times best seller. She also received a 2010 Rome Prize from The American Academy in Rome for her poetry. She is currently a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and formerly a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Her reportage on religion, conflict and human rights and her poetry have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Harpers, The New Republic, among many others.

Griswold’s lecture is part of a series titled Beyond Borders, on the global movement of people and ideas. To learn more about this event and find lectures online, visit www.holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College's commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.