These easy-to-use guidebooks help the well-meaning guest of any other faith feel at ease, participate to the fullest extent possible, and avoid violating anyone's religious principles or hurting their feelings. Not a guide to theology. Not presented from the perspective of any particular faith.
What will happen? What do I do? What do I wear? What do I say? When is it OK to leave? What should I avoid doing, wearing, or saying? What are their basic beliefs? Should I bring a gift? These are just a few of the basic, very practical questions answered in How to Be a Perfect Stranger, two books that belong in every living room, library, and office. Originally published in hardcover by Jewish Lights Publishing, these updated and expanded trade paperback editions now include information for the Canadian branches of each faith, plus an added chapter on the largest Protestant denomination in Canada, The United Church of Canada.
VOL.1: How to Be a Perfect Stranger is based on information obtained from authorities of each religion. Assemblies of God; Baptist; Buddhist; The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Churches of Christ; Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist); Episcopalian and Anglican; Greek Orthodox; Hindu; Islam; Jehovah's Witnesses; Jewish; Lutheran; Methodist; Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Presbyterian; Quaker (Religious Society of Friends); Roman Catholic; Seventh-day Adventist; United Church of Canada; United Church of Christ.
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About the Author
Stuart M. 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: 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 2014 recipient of the Abraham Geiger Medal, an award recognizing outstanding service to religious pluralism, and 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 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 over 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 widely recognized as a leader in the spiritual transformation of Judaism in our time.
Stuart is listed in Who’s Who in America.
Arthur J. Magida is a freelance editor and author.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell
Preface by Sanford Cloud, Jr., Former President, The National Conference for Community and Justice
The "Everything You Need to Know Before You Go" Checklist
1 · African American Methodist Churches
2 · Assemblies of God
3 · Bahá'í Faith
4 · Baptist
5 · Buddhist
6 · Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
7 · Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist)
8 · Churches of Christ
9 · Episcopalian/Anglican
10 · Hindu
11 · Islam
12 · Jehovah's Witnesses
13 · Jewish
14 · Lutheran
15 · Mennonite/Amish
16 · Methodist
17 · Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
18 · Native American/First Nations
19 · Orthodox Churches
20 · Pentecostal Church of God
21 · Presbyterian
22 · Quaker (Religious Society of Friends)
23 · Reformed Church in America/Canada
24 · Roman Catholic
25 · Seventh-day Adventist
26 · Sikh
27 · Unitarian Universalist
28 · United Church of Canada
29 · United Church of Christ
Glossary of Common Religious Terms and Names
The Meanings of Popular Religious Symbols
Calendar of Religious Holidays and Festivals
Summary of Proper Forms for Addressing Leaders of Various Faiths