From the Inside Flap
In today's diverse North American society we often are invited--through family, friends or business contacts--to religious ceremonies or services that are not of our own tradition or faith. Entering this unfamiliar atmosphere can be awkward....
What will happen?
What do I do?
What do I wear?
What do I say?
What should I avoid doing, wearing, saying?
What are their basic beliefs?
Should I bring a gift?
When is it okay to leave?
These are just a few of the basic, very practical questions answered in How to Be a Perfect Stranger. Based on information obtained directly from each of the religions and denominations, this indispensable handbook helps the well-meaning guest of any other faith to feel comfortable, participate to the fullest extent possible and avoid violating anyone's religious principles or hurting their feelings.
This book helps turn the "strange" into the less confusing (but not the ordinary). Most of all, it enables the invited "stranger" to truly appreciate the experience, and enrich their own spiritual understanding.
About 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.