"...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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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Book of Omens

I have just got a comment on my post about the Book of Omens show in Washington that I think I should be sure everyone sees. Mark Stone writes: "This is a "must see" show. There are masterpieces in the show that one will not be able to see once the exhibit closes. The "shirt of armor", full of apotropaica coded in koranic script within script painted in blinding detail on a cotton undergarment, designed to ward off any evil against a combattant wearer, is awe-inspiring for any theist plugged into the power of the visual. Venetian illuminations become peripheral bonbons in comparison. Brilliant piece. From Vancouver to Mexico City, and any point in Western Europe, this exhibit is worth the flight. Incredibely rare pieces. The photographs in the scholarly catalogue do not have the magic of the originals, though worth the purchase. Book the flight. Even if you stay only 24 hrs."

I for one wish I could do just that.
Divination Bowl. Savafid. Iran.

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