"...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, March 19, 2009
Sufism & Surrealism
Sufism and Surrealism
This book will be of considerable interest to readers of this blog. From the publisher:
At first glance Sufism and Surrealism appear to be as far removed from one another as is possible. Adonis, however, draws convincing parallels between the two, contesting that God, in the traditional sense of the word, does not exist in Surrealism or in Sufism, and that both are engaged in parallel quests for the nature of the absolute, through 'holy madness' and the deregulation of the senses. This is a remarkable investigation into the common threads of thought that run through seemingly polarised philosophies from East and West, written by a man Edward Said referred to as 'the most eloquent spokesman and explorer of Arab modernity'.
REVIEWS: "Adonis is undoubtedly one of the leading Arab poets of this century." - Times Literary Supplement (London) "As important a cultural manifesto as any written today." - Edward Said "The Arab world's greatest living poet has cultivated a garden of language. - New York Times "Adonis is a writer like Neruda or Marquez." - The Independent
AUTHOR: Adonis is hugely esteemed as a poet and man of letters. Born in Syria in 1930, he settled in Lebanon in the 1950s, where he became a central figure in the new Arabic poetry movement. In 1956 he helped establish the literary magazine Shi'r, and in 1968 founded its successor, the equally prestigious Mawakif. Both were to play a seminal role in the revival of the Arabic literary tradition. Adonis is the author of several classic works that have led to a rigorous reassessment of Arab cultural heritage.