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Unutulmuş Krallıkların Varisleri: Ortadoğu'nun Yok Olan Dinlerine Yolculuk

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,095 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Mandayyalar, Yezidiler, Zerdüştçüler, Dürziler, Samiriyeliler, Koptlar, Halaçlar Diplomat olarak gittiğinde Ortadoğu'ya âşık olan Gerard Russell, en tehlikeli, en dağlık, en zor ulaşılır bölgelerde hayata tutunup modern dünyaya meydan okuyan bu dini toplulukları anlamak ve anlatmak amacıyla özenli bir tarihi kayıt oluşturuyor. Müslümanlığın ve Hıristiyanlığın gölgesinde, ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published 2016 by Koç Üniversitesi Yayınları (first published October 21st 2014)
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Thomas Not true, Razi. Kindle Fires have color screens. I bought the audiobook, so I did not get any illustrations, nor would I have expected to. But if…moreNot true, Razi. Kindle Fires have color screens. I bought the audiobook, so I did not get any illustrations, nor would I have expected to. But if there are really color illustrations in the Kindle edition, they'd be viewable as color on a Kindle Fire *or* using the Kindle app for iOS/Android/Windows. If you don't have a tablet but have an Android smartphone or iPhone, you should be able to view them that way, and if they're really color they should be in color using the (free) Kindle PC app.

If the color illustrations are strictly part of the book, there is certainly no way to legally obtain the color illustrations without purchasing the Kindle version. However, I would Google for the author's website, if he has one, where it's possible some illustrations are available as part of the promotional materials. I've seen that done occasionally, though it's not all that common.

Also, some libraries have a program where they loan out ebooks, so you might be able to borrow it that way.(less)
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Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lauren by: NPR Fresh Air
Insightful and informative study of seven religious groups within the large swath of "Middle East" and central Asia that have maintained a unique identity for centuries through various conquests, empires, and dominant religious movements.

Many of these groups - either completely autonomous, or splinter sects from another dominant religion - were often geographically isolated, therefore able to practice and sustain their belief system without intervention from other groups for centuries, some
Tim Pendry

Gerard Russell has undertaken a highly personal and humane but also finely judged and largely objective review of the history and current status of seven 'disappearing religions': the Mandaeans, the Yazidis, the Zoroastrians, the Druze, the Samaritans, the Copts and the Kalasha of Afghanistan.

Each has a chapter devoted it with a common pattern - an educated history underlining the religion's roots and doctrines (such as can be known), personal pilgrimages to meet practitoners on site wherever
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, middle-east
We tend to see the Middle East as one turgid mass of Sunni and Shi'a Muslims who are all at each others' throats. There are, however, a number of isolated religious communities that, over the last two thousand years, managed to retain a tenuous independence from the emerging mainstream. These include Mandaeans, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Druze, Samaritans, Coptic Christians, Kalashas, and others.

Gerard Russell has written a first-hand study of these groups in Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys
Justin Evans
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-etc, essays
A journalistic book, and a very good one: it's unlikely that you know much about the religions covered here (I certainly didn't), and Russell is a nice entry point. It's very mixed--some theology, some history, some sociology, but mostly travel narrative, interviews and memoir. Russell talks to and describes Mandaeans (mostly in the Iraqi marshes, followers of John the Baptist), Yazidi (very secretive, I'd describe them as gnostics), Zoroastrians, Druze, Samaritans, Copts and Kalasha (whom I ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
A book about druze, mandeans, yazidi, samaratins, Copts, Zoroastrians, and Kalasha. Religions as eroding relics of the past but doomed it seems to eventual oblivion. The author is pretty poor at explaining what exactly the religions entail and how they came to be. However the sometimes exasperating vagueness on the beliefs themselves allows more time to be spent on the more universal theme of people trying to maintain their identity at all costs even if the why is not clear.
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, religion
To be honest, I am disappointed with this book, perhaps unfairly. In the introduction I read the following sentence:

Thus the groups featured in this book seem to me to address three things that troubled me during my time in the Middle East: humanity's collective ignorance of its own past, the growing alienation between Christianity and Islam, and the way the debate about religion has become increasingly the preserve of narrow-minded atheists and literalists.

As an atheist, I resent that on
This was a total surprise. Got it off Kindle on offer and thought it was gonna be waaaay more academic than it is. Actually, this is a wonderful exploration of human life through the eyes of religions which have existed for far longer than the most prominent ones. Russell leads you with a gentle hand and reminds you all the time to not forget that behind labels, ideologies and religious beliefs lie human beings; and that behind the same things lies a rich history which the world would rather see ...more
Al Bità
Gerard Russell was a former diplomat in the Middle East mostly during the first decade of the 21st-century CE, and during his time there he discovered a number of small religious groups with ancient histories and traditions which are still extant in the region. His fascination with these groups lead him to find out a bit more about them, and this book on seven of these is a kind of introduction to them resulting from his research. So far, so good and in my opinion his searching out of them, and ...more
Gerard Russell here provides an overview of the history, culture, and beliefs of the adherents of seven "disappearing religions" in western Asia and north Africa: the Mandaeans, the Yazidis, the Zoroastrians, the Druze, the Samaritans, the Copts, and the Kalasha. Russell, a former British diplomat, has the language abilities and familiarity with the region to enable him to travel to places where white western journalists rarely go.

The travelogue-esque portions of the bookwhere for instance
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please bear in mind, Dear Readers, that this was an audiobook that took a while for me to get through, so I don't have an actual copy for reference. Overall, it's a well-presented mix of history, travel narrative and theology (although the Druze don't really have a theology as such). First couple of entries were disappointing on the travel front, as they were interviews with folks in London, but the rest were "in the field" (as it were), including the final chapter on the Middle Eastern diaspora ...more
Stephen Welch
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gboh
A startlingly informative book on a fascinating subject. I consider myself fairly well informed, but was delighted that Russell lifted a veil of ignorance on the peoples and history of this region.

Highly, highly recommended.

Erik Graff
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of religion, of the Middle East
Recommended to Erik by: Kelly Kingdon
Shelves: religion
Islam has historically been a religion more tolerant of others than has been Christianity. Thus while the older faith cultures of Europe were eliminated, some of those in the Middle East have survived. This book, written by one with long experience in several of the countries of the region, one conversant in Arabic, Farsi and other languages, describes several of these traditions, some of which may reflect beliefs and practices antedating the rise of the ostensibly monotheistic Jewish, Christian ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: late-antiquity
Both less substantively revealing and more personally engaging than I expected, Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms combines travelogue with history and anthropology of religion. The chief virtue of the book is that it identifies seven different minority Middle Eastern faiths and portrays their adherents with sympathy and respect. Several of the religions are fairly secretive about their beliefs, rituals, and philosophies, and so there's not a lot of detail about some of the faiths' dogmas or ...more
Peter Bradley
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Amazon review -

Please give me a helpful vote.

This is an extremely interesting and extremely informative survey of the non-Islamic religions that have survived in the Islamic world, but which face extinction in their homelands in the face of resurgent fundamentalist Islam. The author, Gerard Russell, is an Arabic and Persian speaking British diplomat. His narrative features a kind of "diplomatic portfolio" of background, theology and history of these
Steve Cran
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For countless centuries the Middle East has been home to a variety of religions that do not fall into the mainstream. People will find it hard to believe that non Muslim minorities could survive so long in the Middle East. Fact of the matter is that the Muslim Middle East was more tolerant than Christian Europe . That does not mean that life was easy for non Muslims in the Middle East, as these minorities have undergone persecution.  Islam bespeaks tolerance and protection for people of the book ...more
When ISIS swept into Iraq from Syria in the summer of 2014, driving a group of religionists known as the Yazidi onto Mount Sinjar, not only aid workers were sent scrambling. Journalists, too, were caught flatfooted. Who are the Yazidis? Arent they Muslims? What do they believe? Why does ISIS call them devil-worshippers? There are answers to these questions and many more like them in Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East by Gerard Russell, a ...more
Pat Rolston
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful book provides the opportunity to learn about esoteric and unusual religious practices. The focus is on sects associated with the Middle East and Eastern Europe having an association with Islamic roots. The knowledge gained is only eclipsed by the empathy obtained for peoples life circumstances so different from our own. This authors work will expand your worldview while opening new opportunities for deeper exploration into very misunderstood faiths and cultures. ...more
Mohamed Qamber
I stopped reading this book at the middle of chapter four,
For the following simple reasons

First of all the book covers a moderate amount of information on each religion or sect and this is good to start with.

However, it's full of useless and irrelevant details. Each chapter is about fourty pages and the whole ideology of the religion could've been written in ten to fifteen.

The amount of assumptions, bias and stereotypes are realisable, and this is very bad besides the basic errors and wrong
Shamaine Daniels
I absolutely loved this book! In an era where we speak in simple platitudes and generalities, this book reminded me of how complex the world is, particularly the Middle East, in a very life-affirming way. There are some minor errors, but the book will make you feel better about the world we live in.
Lyndsie Otto
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating! Slow going, but only because I was constantly stopping to Google things (and falling into rabbit holes) and or finding the nearest person to shout, "Hey, did you know that..?!". Full of lots of interesting history & things I had no idea about. If you're interested in religion (tenants or history) or the Middle East, I do recommend.
Sajith Kumar
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east, islamism
The Middle East is one of the earliest centres of ancient human civilizations. Stretching from Iran to Egypt, it brackets the Persian, Babylonian, Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations. Religion accompanies high culture and the number of independent pagan religions that flourished in the area run into the hundreds. Polytheism is inherently tolerant as it is always easy to accommodate one more god into the pantheon as the kith and kin of one already there. As the monotheistic Semitic religions grew ...more
Andrew Dombrowski
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, although as other reviewers has pointed out, it is very much a travelogue rather than a scholarly analysis of the religious communities under discussion (Mandaeans, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Druze, Samaritans, Copts, and Kalasha). That said, the book's focus is clearly stated in the title, so I don't think that's a very serious problem.

There are definitely nits to pick in this book. At times, the author relies on time-worn travelogue tropes in
Michael Kinzer
Religious minorities in the Middle East fascinate me, and so I expected a lot from this book. Unfortunately it suffers from poor writing. It reads a bit like Robert Fiske's Great War for Civilization, in the sense that the author is the protagonist of each chapter. Unlike Fiske's book where his experiences as a journalist complement his explanation of historical events, Russell's emphasis on his own 'Journeys' distracts from his explanation of the 'Disappearing Religions'.

For a reader
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard for me to give this book a rating. It is definitely a fascinating book, one that deals with several barely surviving religions in the Middle East. We Americans might be convinced that the only religion in the Arab world is Islam, but that's definitely not the case. Small non-Muslim religions have survived because Islam is a tolerant religion that protects people "of the book," and if a religion can prove that it has a scripture, it is usually safe from persecution from the dominant ...more
Omar Ali
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing tour de force. Covering everyone from the Druze and the Copts to the Bahais and the Kalasha of Pakistan. A great read. Some of these groups will likely be gone soon, but there seems to be no easy solution.
Best discovery for me: that the Samaritans (of "the good Samaritan" fame, from the New Testament) still exist and about 800 or so are hanging on in Israel/Palestine. Amazing story. Gerard Russell is a very empathetic and balanced observer. He occasionally tries some false modesty
Sham Al-Ghazali
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this app after not using it for over a year purely for the reason of being able to review this book. It's terrific. Not only is it written so beautifully but Gerard has made sure to just find out about these religions without intervening too much and made a happy balance between healthy curiosity and being a nosey foreigner. As an Iraqi I loved learning about these religions that came way before me in my beloved country.

It's a fascinating book....and tragic that thanks to both
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone curious about the bizarre multiplicity of human belief systems will find this engaging from start to finish. I think Russell misdefines gnosticism (and I may be too ignorant to catch other mistakes), but on the whole he seems to know his stuff and delivers heaps of fascinating historical background to accompany his travelogue. Equally important, his deep sympathy for the people he describes is quite evident and his copious research is quite awe inspiring.
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at some of the lesser-known inhabitants of the Middle East. You definitely think of Muslims and Jews, when you think of the Middle East. But do you think of the Mandaeans, the Samaritans (yes, as in "the Good Samaritan"), or the Kalash? Of the groups discussed here, the Yazidis have become more well-known recently, thanks to Daesh's shittiness. All of them are fascinating and endangered remnants of ancient history, and I'm glad to have learned more about them.
Edward Sullivan
A fascinating, insightful look at small, mysterious religions that have survived in regions of the Middle East for thousands of years and continue to cling to survival. The author ventures to the distant, nearly impassable regions to learn about the Mandaeans and Yazidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Druze of Lebanon, the Copts of Egypt, and others.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: next-kindle-buys
Great book on the vanishing ancient religious communities of the Middle East and South Asia.
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