"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Annotated Bibliography

This is a list of contemporary scholars and others who have written about Henry Corbin or whose work has been significantly influenced by his vision. Entries for individuals are representative and not complete.

(Sadly, I have not updated this since 2009 - TC)

A Complete Bibliography of Corbin's own works is available from
Les Amis de Stella et Henry Corbin

Timurid Watercolor, Shiraz. Freer & Sackler Galleries

Abaza, Mona. "Henry Corbin, the absent centre", Ch. 7 in Debates on Islam and Knowledge in Malaysia and Egypt: Shifting Worlds, London: Routledge, 2002.
Adams, Charles J., "The Hermeneutics of Henry Corbin," in Approaches to Islam in Religious Studies, Martin, ed., Univ. Arizona, 1985.
Algar, Hamid. “The Study of Islam: The Work of Henry Corbin.” Religious Studies Review 6(2) 1980: 85-91.
Aminrazavi, Mehdi. Suhrawardi and the School of Illumination, Richmond : Curzon, 1997.
Amir-Moezzi, M., Christian Jambet et Pierre Lory, (Editors). Henry Corbin: Philosophies et Sagesses des Religions du Livre. Brepols, 2005. Essays by Christian Jambet, Jean-Michel Hirt, James W. Morris, Jean Francois Marquet, Jean-Louis Viellard-Baron, Mohammad Amir-Moezzi, Michel Chodkiewicz, Guy Monnot, Daniel De Smet, Paul Ballanfat, Charles-Henri Fouchecour, Hermann Landolt, Paul B. Fenton, Simon C. Mimouni, Gerard Wiegers, Maria E. Subtelney.
Avens, Roberts, Imagination as Reality: Western Nirvana in Jung, Hillman, Barfield & Cassirer, Spring Publications, 1980.
____ The New Gnosis, Spring Publications, 1984.
____ "Things and Angels, Death and Immortality in Heidegger and in Islamic Gnosis," Hamdard Islamicus VII(2): 3-32, Summer, 1984
____ "Theosophy of Mulla Sadra," Hamdard Islamicus IX(3): 3-30, Autumn, 1986
____ "Henry Corbin and Suhrawardi's Angelology," Hamdard Islamicus XI(1): 3-20, Spring 1988
____ "Corbin's Interpretation of Imamology and Sufism," Hamdard Islamicus XI(2): 67-79, Summer, 1988
____ "The Subtle Realm: Corbin, Sufism and Swedenborg," in Immanuel Swedenborg: A Continuing Vision, ed. Robin Larson, Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 1988.
____ "Henry Corbin's Teaching on Angels," translated from the German by Hugo M. Van Woerkom; Gorgo 18 (1988). pdf file available from Scribd requires (free) registration.
Azadpur, Mohammad. "Unveiling the hidden. On the Meditations of Descartes and Ghazzali", in Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa (Ed.) - The Passions of the Soul: In the Metamorphosis of Becoming, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003.
Bamford, Christopher, "Esoterism Today: The Example of Henry Corbin," Introduction to The Voyage and the Messenger: Iran and Philosophy, 1998, trans. Joseph Rowe, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley [translation of L'Iran et La Philosophie, Fayard, 1990]
Băncilă,Ionuţ Daniel. "Some Aspects of Manichaeism as Religion of Beauty [in English]," Caietele Echinox (Romania) Issue no.12 /2007. "The study investigates the aspects of Beauty in Manichaean teachings, following certain intuitions by Henry Corbin and Ilya Gershevitch. The Living Soul imprisoned in this material word, the Manichaean dissemination of the Zoroastrian figure of the Virgin of the Good Deeds, as well as the descriptions of the otherworldly ”Gardens of Light” offer as many instances and occasions for the Manichaeans to praise Beauty, although always as situated above and out of this world."
Bloom, Harold, Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams and Resurrection, Riverhead Books, New York, 1996.
_____ Preface to Princeton Mythos re-issue of Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi, with the new title, Alone with the Alone, 1997.
Bosnak, Robert - Analyst in private practice, Sydney, Australia. Corbin & Dreamwork.
(rbosnak@mindspring.com). Author of A Little Course in Dreams and Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming both discuss Corbin. His latest book Embodiment: Creative Imagination in Medicine Art and Travel (Routledge, 2007) is written as a tribute to Henry Corbin.
_____ "My Eranos," (With several mentions of Corbin. Bosnak's own work has been profoundly influenced by Corbin). The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, Winter 1987, Vol. 7, No. 1, Pages 25–29.
Braga, Corin. Imagination, Imaginaire, Imaginal: Three Concepts for Defining Creative Fantasy by Corin Braga. (pdf file) at Phantasma: Center for Imagination Studies (Romanian), with a subsection "Mundus Imaginalis" referencing Henry Corbin.
Brown, Norman O., "The Prophetic Tradition," in Apocalypse &/or Metamorphosis, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1991.
____ "The Apocalypse of Islam," in op. cit.
Brown, Vahid, "A Counter-History of Islam: Ibn 'Arabi within the Spiritual Topography of Henry Corbin," Journal of Ibn Arabi Society,Volume XXXII, Autumn 2002. (Brown adopts Wassertrom's methods and is critical of Corbin's approach to Ibn 'Arabi).
Cheetham, Tom. The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism. New Orleans: Spring Journal Books, 2003.
_____ Green Man, Earth Angel: The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World. With an Introduction by Robert Sardello. SUNY Series in the Western Esoteric Tradition, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2005.
_____ After Prophecy: Imagination, Incarnation and the Unity of the Prophetic Tradition. Lectures for the Temenos Academy. Spring Journal Books, 2007.
Chittick, William, The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn 'Arabi's Metaphysics of the Imagination, SUNY Press, Albany, 1989.
____ Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-'Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity, SUNY Press, Albany, 1994.
____ The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn 'Arabi's Cosmology, SUNY Press, Albany, 1998.
Cobb, Noel. Archetypal Imagination: Glimpses of the Gods in Life and Art, Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1992.
Copjec, Joan. SUNY Buffalo, Area of interest: Corbin & Lacan
Davies, Paul. Romanticism & Esoteric Tradition: Studies in Imagination, Hudson: Lindisfarne, 1998.
Durand, Gilbert. Founder of Le Centre de recherche sur l'imaginaire. Colleague of Jung, Corbin and Gaston Bachelard.
____ Les Structures anthropologiques de l'imaginaire
, Paris, Dunod (1re édition Paris, P.U.F., 1960).
____ Champs de l’imaginaire. Textes réunis par Danièle Chauvin, Grenoble, Ellug, 1996. Includes complete bibliography.
El-Bizri, Nader. The Phenomenological Quest: Between Avicenna and Heidegger, Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publ., 2000.
Ernst, Carl W. Rūzbihān Baqlī: Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism, Richmond, Surrey : Curzon Press, 1996.
Faivre, Antoine. Access to Western Esotericism, SUNY Press, Albany, 1994.
____ Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition: Studies in Western Esotericism, translated by Christine Rhone, SUNY Series in the Western Esoteric Tradition, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2000. This translation is the second part of Faivre’s double volume, Accès de l’ésotérisme occidental II, Gallimard, 1996. The central section, “Exercises of Imagination”, contains three essays on aspects of the mundus imaginalis. This concept interweaves themes of the seventeenth-century magical imagination and its mythical foundations, the theosophy of Boehme, Oetinger, and von Baader, and the act of seeing as implied in the Acts of Peter and the work of Corbin.
Giuliano, Glauco. Il Pellegrinaggio in Oriente di Henry Corbin. Con una scelta di testi. Lavis (Trento-Italia), La Finestra editrice, 2003.
_____ Nîtârtha. Saggi per un pensiero eurasiatico. Lavis (Trento-Italia), La Finestra editrice, 2004.
Green, Nile. Department of History, UCLA. "Between Heidegger and the Hidden Imam: Reflections on Henry Corbin's Approaches to Mystical Islam", in Mohammad-Reza Djalili, Alessandro Monsutti & Anna Neubauer (eds), Le Monde turco-iranien en question (Paris: Karthala, forthcoming 2008). [Unauthorised draft version previously published in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 17, 3 (2005), pp.219-226]
Hajhosseini, Morteza. Analytic Comparison between 'Allahmah Tabataba's's View and that of Henry Corbin concerning Human Perfection, Transcendent Philosophy 1: 31-45
Hillman, James - The Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman. Although he makes use of the concept of the mundus imaginalis in ways of which Corbin would not necessarily have approved, Hillman's entire work is profoundly marked by Corbin's influence.
Hughes, Aaron W. & Abraham ben Meïr Ibn Ezra. The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought, Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2004.
Hume, Lynne. Assoc. Prof., University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Portals: Opening Doorways to Other Realities Through the Senses. Berg, 2007.
Idel, Moshe, Kabbalah: New Perspectives, Yale University Press, New Haven 1998.
____ Absorbing Perfections. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
Iranzo, Ivor Pinto. About the Imaginary . On Gilbert Durand.
Jambet, Christian. Institut d'Etudes Iraniennes (University de Paris III) and l'Ecole Pratiques des Hautes Etudes. Henry Corbin, edited by Christian Jambet, Cahier de l'Herne, no. 39. Consacré à Henry Corbin, 1981.
____ La Logique des Orientaux: Henry Corbin et la Science des Formes. Paris: Seuil, 1983.
____ La Grande résurrection d’Alamût: Les formes de la liberté dans le shî’isme ismaélien, Verdier, Paris, 1990.
____ "The Stranger and Theophany," (English translation of Le Caché et l'Apparent). Umbr(a): A Journal of the Unconscious 2005 - The Dark God: 27-41. (Publication of Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture - SUNY Buffalo).
____ The Act of Being: The Philosophy of Revelation in Mulla Sadra. New York: Zone Books, 2006.
Landolt, Hermann, "Henry Corbin, 1903-1978: Between Philosophy and Orientalism," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 119(3): 484-490 (1999).
Laude, Patrick. An Inner Islam: Insights in Massignon, Corbin, Guénon and Schuon. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2009 (forthcoming).
Lawson, Todd. Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations.
____ Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Philosophy, Theology and Mysticism in Muslim Thought, London & New York, I.B. Taurus, 2005.
____ The Crucifixion and the Qu'ran:
A Study in the History of Muslim Thought, Oxford, One World, 2009.
Lory, Pierre. Directeur scientifique des études médiévales, modernes et arabes, Institut francais du Proche-Orient, Damascus; Directeur d'études à l'EPHE, 5e section, chaire de mystique musulmane, Paris.
____ Alchimie et mystique en terre d'Islam
, Lagrasse, Verdier, Collection " Islam spirituel ", 1989.
____ Le rêve et ses interprétations en Islam, Paris, Albin Michel, 2003.
____ La science des lettres en terre d’Islam, Paris, Dervy, 2004.
____ « Henry Corbin, explorateur des terres d’émeraude », in Symbole, n° 1 (May 2007).
____ Review of Wasserstrom, 1999, at amiscorbin.com.
____ Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron, Gregoire Lacaze, Jean-Francois Marquet, Antoine Faivre (eds.) Henry Corbin et le Comparatisme Spirituel, Paris, Arche, 2000.
Mahmoud, Samir.
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK. Interests: Islamic mystical philosophy (Ibn 'Arabi and Suhrawardi); Henry Corbin; Platonism; Islamic Aesthetics; Comparative Aesthetics; History of Art and Architecture; History of cross-cultural exchanges in ideas, art, and architecture between the Muslim world and Europe. email: delphi93@hotmail.com, samir.mahmoud.cantab@gmail.com. Recent Work: "From Heidegger to Suhrawardi: An Introduction to the Thought of Henry Corbin," (2006, published on official website of Henry Corbin edited by Pierre Lory); "'Alam al-Mithal or the Mundus Imaginalis," (paper presented to conference on Philosophy of Religion at the University of Marburg, 2006 to be published in 2008); "Ta'wil and the Angel," paper to be published in 2008; "Suhrawardi and Plotinus on Self-Knowledge as Illumination," (paper presented at Prometheus Trust Conference, Glastonbury, England 2007 to be published under same title in 2008 currently under peer review); "Carl Gustav Jung in the Light of Traditional Psychology or Pneumatology: Some Explorations on Self and Salvation," (paper to be published in 2008 currently under peer review); Currently working on a PhD on the topic of medieval Islamic Philosophical Aesthetics. Dissertation title is: The Art of Remembrance and the Aesthetics of Unity. The thesis draws heavily on Corbin's interpretation of Ibn 'Arabi, Suhrawardi, and Avicenna and it is also indebted to Corbin's dispersed remarks on Islamic art, architecture, and aesthetics.
Mann, Mary Pat. The Door to the Imaginal Realm, Mytholog 4(3): 2006.
Marcotte, R. "Phenomenology through the eyes of an Iranologist: Henry Corbin," The Bulletin of The Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies (1995)14,1-2,55-70. The journal's editor states that this article is both an "insightful and comprehensive analysis of the types and schools of thought which helped to shape the views of one of the best known Islamic scholars of the mid-twentieth century". "Although Corbin's methodological approach is devalued by many scholars today, Marcotte points out that his attempt to form a 'spiritual-type phenomenology' offered fresh and challenging ways of interpreting Islamic thought which, despite their inherent limitations, are still worthy of consideration".
Miller, David. L., The New Polytheism, Dallas: Spring Publications, 1991.
Morris, James Winston. The Reflective Heart: Discovering Spiritual Intelligence in Ibn 'Arabi's Meccan Illuminations. Fons Vitae, 2005.
____ Religion After Religions?: Henry Corbin and the Future of the Study of Religion. In Philosophies et Sagesses des Religions du Livre, ed. P. Lory and M. Amir-Moezzi, Tournhout, Brépols Publishers, 2005, pp. 21-32. Online here.
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, "Henry Corbin: The Life and Works of the Occidental Exile in Quest of the Orient of Light," Ch. 17, in Traditional Islam in the Modern World, Kegan Paul International, London, 1987.
Norton, Felicia and Charles Smith, An Emerald Earth: Cultivating a Natural Spirituality and Serving Creative Beauty in Our World. TwoSeasJoin Press, New York, 2008. ISBN 978-0-6152-3546-2
Peña-Velasco, Elizabeth. "An End to Ordinary History: Comments on a Philosophical Novel by Michael Murphy", (at amiscorbin.com) translated by Christine Rhone. This article discusses Murphy's novel of 1982, which drew inspiration from Corbin's Corps Spirituel et Terre Céleste. Our ordinary historical perspective can be transformed into the Imaginal History as Corbin has shown.
Raine, Kathleen, Golgonooza: City of Imagination. Last Studies in William Blake, Lindisfarne Press, Hudson, N.Y., 1991.
Romanyshyn, Robert. Technology as Symptom and Dream. London: Routledge, 1989.
____ Mirror and Metaphor.
Amherst NY: Trivium, 2002.
Rustom, Mohammed. University of Toronto.
"The Metaphysics of the Heart in the Sufi Doctrine of Rumi." Studies in Religion 37/1 (2008): 3-14.
"The Symbology of the Wing in Suhrawardi's The Reverberation of Gabriel's Wing." Transcendent Philosophy 7 (2006): 189-202.
Review of The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism by Tom Cheetham. The Muslim World Book Review 26/2 (2006): 26-27.
Review of An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Parabola 31/3 (2006): 120-124.

Shaw, Gregory  - Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, 1995 . Stonehill College, Areas of interest: Neoplatonism, Iamblichus. Also see "Containing Ecstasy: Strategies of Iamblichean Theurgy," Dionysius XXI. This article compares neoplatonic theurgy to contemporary dreamwork and includes references to and a critique of archetypal psychology using Corbin as the criterion for crticism and as the figure who reveals the theurgic element in Ibn Arabi, Avicenna, etc.
Shariat, Ali. "Henry Corbin and the Imaginal: A Look at the Concept and Function of Creative Imagination in Iranian Philosophy," Diogenes, Vol. 39, No. 156, 83-114 (1991)
Shayegan, Daryush. Henry Corbin: La topographie spirituelle de l'Islam Iranien, Ed. de la Difference, Paris, 1990.
Sherrard, Philip. The Eclipse of Man and Nature, Hudson NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1987.
____ Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998.
Soster, Maria. "Henry Corbin in the 1930s: Questions and Perspectives", (at amiscorbin.com), translated by Christine Rhone. This paper traces the development of the concept of existence in Corbin's articles of the 1930s, when he pursued enquiries into Existenzphilosophie and stayed in Germany for some time.
Subtelny, Maria E.
“History and Religion: The Fallacy of Metaphysical Questions (A Review Article).” Iranian Studies: March 2003, 36(1): 91-101.
Velasco, Ismael. "A Prolegomenon to the Study of Babi and Baha’i Scriptures: The Importance of Henry Corbin to Babi and Baha’i Studies," Baha'i Studies Review, Vol. 12, 2004.
Versluis, Arthur.Theosophia: Hidden Dimensions of Christianity, Hudson NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1994.
Walbridge, John. The Wisdom of the Mystic East: Suhrawardī and Platonic Orientalism, Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 2001.
Wasserstrom, Steven M. Religion After Religion: Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1999.
Wellman, Donald - Daniel Webster College, Area of interest: Corbin & Charles Olson
Wolfson, Elliot - New York University, Areas of Interest: Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism. Dr. Wolfson writes, "Corbin has been a major influence on my work on Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, beginning with Through a Speculum that Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Princeton, 1994) -- specifically, I avail myself of his notion of the imaginal. Other essays which follow the path of Corbin include: "Iconic Visualization and the Imaginal Body of God: The Role of Intention in the Rabbinic Conception of Prayer," Modern Theology 12 (1996): 137-162; "Sacred Space and Mental Iconography: Imago Templi and Contemplation in Rhineland Jewish Pietism," in Ki Baruch Hu: Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Judaic Studies in Honor of Baruch A. Levine, 593-634. Edited by R. Chazan, W. Hallo, and L. H. Schiffman. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1999; "Seven Mysteries of Knowledge: Qumran E/sotericism Reconsidered,” in The Idea of Biblical Interpretation: Essays in Honor of James L. Kugel, 173-213. Edited by H. Najman. Leiden: Brill, 2003; "Imago Templi and the Meeting of the Two Seas: Liturgical Time-Space and the Feminine Imaginary in Zoharic Kabbalah," RES (Journal of Anthropology & Aesthetics) 51 (2007): 121-135. In the last essay, I have an extended discussion of Corbin's thought."


  1. Abaza, Mona - "Henry Corbin, the absent centre", Ch. 7 in Debates on Islam and Knowledge in Malaysia and Egypt: Shifting Worlds, Routledge, London, 2002.

  2. Thank you. I hope others will follow your lead here and find more such references. - Tom

  3. Azadpur, Mohammad - "Unveiling the hidden. On the Meditations of Descartes and Ghazzali", in Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa (Ed.) - The Passions of the Soul: In the Metamorphosis of Becoming, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003.

    Eberly, John - Al-Kimia: The Mystical Islamic Essence of the Sacred Art of Alchemy, Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004.

    Hughes, Aaron W & Abraham ben Meïr Ibn Ezra - The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought, Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2004.

  4. Aminrazavi, Mehdi - Suhrawardi and the School of Illumination, Richmond : Curzon, 1997.

    Cobb, Noel - Archetypal Imagination: Glimpses of the Gods in Life and Art, Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1992.

    Davies, Paul - Romanticism & Esoteric Tradition: Studies in Imagination, Hudson: Lindisfarne, 1998.

    El-Bizri, Nader - The Phenomenological Quest: Between Avicenna and Heidegger, Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publ., 2000.

    Ernst, Carl W. - Rūzbihān Baqlī: Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism, Richmond, Surrey : Curzon Press, 1996.

    Walbridge, John - The Wisdom of the Mystic East: Suhrawardī and Platonic Orientalism, Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 2001.

  5. I want to be a little selective and so will try to use the ones which seem to have the most important citations of Corbin - but I appreciate your work on this and hope you will keep it up. - Tom

  6. some of these I should have put there earlier - others, notably Davies & El-Bizri, are new to me and very good to have.