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

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

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by Stuart M. Matlins
     
 

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The indispensable guidebook to help the well-meaning guest when visiting other people's religious ceremonies—updated and revised. New Edition!
4th edition—Updated, Revised, Expanded—New Glossary of Popular Religious Symbols

"Finally, for those inclined to undertake their own spiritual journeys … tells visitors what to

Overview

The indispensable guidebook to help the well-meaning guest when visiting other people's religious ceremonies—updated and revised. New Edition!
4th edition—Updated, Revised, Expanded—New Glossary of Popular Religious Symbols

"Finally, for those inclined to undertake their own spiritual journeys … tells visitors what to expect."
New York Times

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.

For people of all faiths, all backgrounds.

African American Methodist Churches · Assemblies of God · Bahá’í · Baptist · Buddhist · Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) · Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) · Churches of Christ · Episcopalian and Anglican · Hindu · Islam · Jehovah’s Witnesses · Jewish · Lutheran · Mennonite/Amish · Methodist · Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) · Native American/First Nations · Orthodox Churches · Pentecostal Church of God · Presbyterian · Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) · Reformed Church in America/Canada · Roman Catholic · Seventh-day Adventist · Sikh · Unitarian Universalist · United Church of Canada · United Church of Christ

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594731402
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
01/01/2006
Series:
Perfect Stranger Series
Edition description:
3rd Edition, Updated and Revised
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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 Big Tent Judaism, formerly 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 cofounder 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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How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SKL More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago