How to Be a Perfect Stranger, Vol.2: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies

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 Arthur J. Magida and Stuart M. Matlins

(only available as an eBook)

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Recommended by Booklist for addition to library’s core collection for general works on religion.

A straightforward guide to the rituals and celebrations of the major religions and denominations in the United States and Canada from the perspective of an interested guest of any other faith. How to Be a Perfect Stranger is based on information obtained from authorities of each religion.

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—while enriching their own spiritual understanding.

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 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.

“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