"...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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Monday, September 14, 2009

Philosophy Iranienne et Philosophy Comparee

This edition now from editor Jean Moncelon can be found here.

The first of the four lectures which make up this fine small book by Corbin can be found in English translated by Peter Russell as

Corbin, Henry. The Concept of Comparative Philosophy. Ipswich: Golgonooza Press, 1981.

This is a revised version of a lecture delivered in December 1974 at the University of Teheran which was printed in Sophia Perennis (I do not have details of that edition). This important late essay is well worth seeking out though it is now long out of print. [For those who may not know, WorldCat can help locate libraries that hold any book.]

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