ISBN 10: 159473593X / ISBN 13: 9781594735936
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Updated and Revised! Includes Glossary of Popular Religious Symbols

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 Faith · 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

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.

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