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We North Americans live in a remarkably diverse society, and it's increasingly common to be invited to a wedding, funeral, or other religious service of a friend, relative, or coworker whose faith is different from our own These can be awkward situations...
What will Happen?
What do I do? What do I wear? What do I say?
What should I avoid doing, wearing, saying?
Is it okay to use a video camera?
How long will it last? What are their basic beliefs?
Will there be a reception? Will there be food?
Should I bring a gift? When is it okay to leave?
These are just a few of the basic questions answered in How to Be a Perfect Stranger. This easy-to-read guidebook, with an "Everything You Need to know Before You Go" checklist, helps the well-meaning guest to feel, comfortable, participate to the fullest extent possible and avoid violating-anyone's religious principles-while enriching their own spiritual understanding.
Foreword Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell vii
Preface: Former President, The National Conference for community and Justice Sanford Cloud ix
The "Everything You Need to Know Before You Go" Checklist xix
1 African American Methodist Churches 1
2 Assemblies of God 14
3 Bahá'í Faith 25
4 Baptist 36
5 Buddhist 46
6 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 58
7 Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) 70
8 Churches of Christ 77
9 Episcopalian and Anglican 87
10 Hindu 100
11 Islam 110
12 Jehovah's Witnesses 124
13 Jewish 132
14 Lutheran 159
15 Mennonite/Amish 174
16 Methodist 191
17 Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 203
18 Native American/First Nations 215
19 Orthodox Churches 227
20 Pentecostal Church of God 245
21 Presbyterian 258
22 Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) 271
23 Reformed Church in America/Canada 283
24 Roman Catholic 297
25 Seventh-day Adventist 309
26 Sikh 318
27 Unitarian Universalist 338
28 United Church of Canada 352
29 United Church of Christ 368
Glossary of Common Religious Terms and Names 382
The Meanings of Popular Religious Symbols 392
Calendar of Religious Holidays and Festivals 395
Summary of Proper Forms for Addressing Leaders of Various Faiths 401
Posted June 23, 2009
I stumbled upon this book while exploring the various religious history books written by Karen Armstrong. The title wording caught my eye, so I picked it up, read the subtitle, and opened it to see what was said about my religion. Upon flipping through the contents, I was very excited about the thoroughness of the information provided. I work in a university setting with graduate students from all over the U.S. and the world, and I am occasionally invited to their homes. By reading about their religion and its place in their history and culture, I am so much more comfortable discussing our differences, and am able to understand and appreciate their culture and religious beliefs to a greater degree. I have given copies of this book as gifts to a number of international students and their expressions of gratitude have been overwhelming. They say that they now have a more thorough understanding of the differing beliefs of Americans as well as other international students, and are able to be more comfortable in various religious and social settings. I would recommend this book to anyone who works or socializes with people of different faiths. Greater knowledge can lead to more peaceful relationships.
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Posted September 15, 2010
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