Benjamin Franklin Award—Best Religion Book of the Year
Core Collection in Religion, American Library Association’s Booklist
Selected as Outstanding by Parent Council ® Editor’s Choice, American Library Association’s Booklist
How to Be a Perfect Stranger, 6th Edition: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook

It's increasingly common to be invited to a wedding, funeral or other religious service for someone of a different faith. This easy-to-read religious etiquette guidebook helps the well-meaning guest feel comfortable and participate as fully as possible.

Edited by Stuart M. Matlins and Arthur J. Magida

6 x 9, 416 pp | 978-1-59473-593-6

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The indispensable guidebook to help the well-meaning guest when visiting other people’s religious ceremonies—updated and revised.

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

“The things Miss Manners forgot to tell us about religion.”

Los Angeles Times

“Finally, for those inclined to undertake their own spiritual journeys ... tells visitors what to expect.”

New York Times

“Deftly edited ... outstanding.... [A] well-researched guide to a significant understanding of many of today’s religions.... Very strongly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review

“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

“The central idea here is excellent.... A perfect gift.”

Publishers Weekly

“Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“Invaluable.... Concise, readable and user-friendly.... Responds to a vital need.... Builds bridges between faith communities.”

Montreal Anglican

“Should be on the bookshelves of anyone who has family members, friends or colleagues belonging to different religions.... Remarkably comprehensive.”

“[An] incredible resource.”

Messenger: A Guide for Life’s Adventure

“[This] book couldn’t have come at a better time.... A welcome Stranger.”

Chicago Sun-Times

“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