A Search for Spirituality

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ekpedeme "Pamay" M. Bassey, president of The Pamay Group, an e-learning company, chief experience officer of the 52 Weeks of Worship Project, and author of My 52 Weeks of Worship, talks about her new book and the spiritual journey that took her to 61 churches, temples, and other places of worship in six different countries.


Ekpedeme Bassey

Comments [8]

Pamay Bassey

For those who ask about atheists - during the first 52 weeks of My 52 Weeks of Worship, my focus was on visiting places of worship. Because I was unaware of a strict "place of worship" where atheists gathered, I did not incorporate atheism. But as I am now in the 3rd year of my project, I will say that I have spoken with friends who are atheists, and am just as interested in talking to and researching about those who profess to have no religion, as those who are from different worship traditions.

Nick, just to let you know that I have no "infantile goo goo-eyed dependency on the delusional hucksterism of organized religion." - my faith is an important part of my life, but I think that an important thing that My 52 Weeks of Worship underscored is the importance of respect - to be able to respect those who believe as I do, quite differently than I do, or who believe nothing at all.

Shawn, I do believe there are many ways to get through life. I have a profound interest in learning about as many of those ways as possible.

Jun. 29 2012 12:15 PM

Ms. Bassey's advice about calling ahead is ideal for actually making such a visit - but you might also want to look for this very useful book, which can help you prepare in advance of that call or visit:

How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook
Stuart M. Matlins and Arthur J. Magida
SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2010 (5th ed.)

There's a series of follow-up volumes on wedding & funeral etiquette & so on, and more religious/spiritual traditions than were included in the earlier editions...

Jun. 29 2012 12:11 PM
BRM from UES

In my 49 years I have been to countless different synagogues of all varieties of observance, from reformed, through conservative, reconstructionist, "conservadox", modern-orthodox, orthodox, Ashkenazi and Sephardic, and I have never seen and never heard of any non-member or visitor of any kind being asked to wear a yarmulke of a different color than anyone else's. That is most definitely the custom of some particular wacky congregation and does not emanate from any ritual of Jewish law. And on the contrary, it is a contradiction of the positive Jewish law to welcome the stranger.

Jun. 29 2012 12:03 PM

Superstitious myths.
some people need this stuff to get by, but one can get through life just fine without it.

Jun. 29 2012 12:00 PM
Shawn from Manhattan

As an Atheist; how was the non-religious covered, if at all?

Jun. 29 2012 11:59 AM
Amy from Manhattan

To Olivia, the 1st caller: There are Jewish congregations that have open discussions of the Torah portions or other topics. I hope you take the opportunity to experience some of them, too.

Jun. 29 2012 11:57 AM
Nick from UWS

One day I'd like to hear a segment about atheists; people who face the hardships and realities of life without this infantile goo goo-eyed dependency on the delusional hucksterism of organized religion.

Jun. 29 2012 11:56 AM
John A

I would like to attempt something like this.
A few pointers as to what customs and politenesses to use when doing so?
EG: Jewish Synagogue - strangers wear white yarmulke(sp)
What about for a visit to the Mosque?
Any places that require preapproval?

Jun. 29 2012 11:48 AM

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