How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook / Edition 5

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Enables the stranger to hold fast to the integrity of their own tradition while stepping onto someone else's holy ground.... Concise, informative and eminently practical."
Rev. Christopher Leighton, executive director, Institute for Christian-Jewish Studies

"Highly recommended....We encourage all people of faith to read it, refer to it often and use it as their guide when visiting other communities of faith.”
Rev. Ken Brookner Langston, director of education, The Interfaith Alliance

“Enables strangers to be better neighbors in a global community.”
Prof. John L. Esposito, director, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University

“You’ll never again feel uncomfortable attending services of a religion not your own, after reading this wonderful book.”
Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director, Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut

Chicago Sun-Times
[This] book couldn’t have come at a better time.... A welcome Stranger.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594732942
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 402
  • Sales rank: 524,360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Matlins is founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of Jewish Lights Publishing and SkyLight Paths Publishing. Both imprints focus on religion and spirituality from a broad non-denominational perspective. He is author or editor of several books, including the best-selling How to Be a Perfect Stranger, 6th Edition: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook (SkyLight Paths); The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Exploring & Living a Spiritual Life (Jewish Lights); The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Wedding Ceremonies: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies; and The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Funerals and Grieving Practices: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies (both SkyLight Paths).

Stuart was the 2006 recipient of the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award, an annual presentation of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He was a member of the First Catholic/Jewish Lay Conference at the Vatican in October 2007, an event under the auspices of the Interreligious Information Center.

Among his many speaking appearances, Stuart has been the scholar-in-residence or guest lecturer at the National Funeral Director’s Association convention, Temple Isaiah (Palm Springs, CA), The Jewish Center of the Hamptons (East Hampton, NY), Temple Sholom (Plainfield, NJ), Israel Congregation (Manchester, NH) and at the annual gatherings of the Jewish Community Centers Association and the Jewish Outreach Institute. He also has been a featured speaker or panel member at many Book Expo America conventions, and at the biennial Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, as well as at churches and other conferences.

Before publishing took over his life, he was a management consultant for over thirty years as a managing partner with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. and then heading his own consulting firm.

He is the co-founder of an innovative synagogue in Woodstock, Vermont, with his wife, Antoinette Matlins, and served as lay spiritual leader for nineteen of its twenty-one years. He has served for almost twenty years on the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and was chair of the Board of Overseers of its New York School.

He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Arthur J. Magida is a freelance editor and author.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell vii

Preface: Former President, The National Conference for community and Justice Sanford Cloud ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xv

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

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