“Tablet and Sword: Religion and Violence in Recent Popular Scholarship on the Muslim World,” by Adam Edward Hollowell

issue 11 hollowellA growing body of popular scholarship attempts to reframe Western conceptions of the Muslim world by offering, as Reza Aslan says, “a new, more constructive set of ideas and metaphors.” This essay reflects on the complexities and promises of three recent efforts composed outside traditional academic settings: Eliza Griswold’s The Tenth Parallel, Graham E. Fuller’s A World Without Islam,and Aslan’s edited volume Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. Despite their respective challenges, these books diversify and nourish literary images of the Muslim world, and they reshape our perceptions of the relationship between religion and violence in global politics.

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