"...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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Friday, December 4, 2009

The World Turned Inside Out - Now Online

I suppose it was inevitable & I have mixed feelings about it. It does make access to information about Corbin easier, but I hope it will not decrease the quite small amount I make every year in royalties and the somewhat larger amount that my publisher uses to try to stay in business. So I hope that those readers who are introduced to Corbin in this way may also buy the book. In any case here is the Scribd link. This scanned version does not contain the Index or the Bibliography, which is too bad. Also I will provide the link to the list of errata for this book which somehow crept into the final version - a couple of them are important. [Despite what amazon.com seems to think, this book is still in print and available through the publisher. I'll get amazon straightened out soon.]

A second printing is due after the first of the year, so it will be in print for some time to come. The French translation is due to be posted online soon, and the hardcopy via Entrelacs Press will follow thereafter.

(I might add, since a few people have asked over the years, that the cover image of the Angel Gabriel by Martin Schongauer is a reference to the great importance that the German mystical and hermeneutic tradition had for Corbin. The original subtitle for this book, and one which I still prefer, was "Henry Corbin and the Angelic Function of Beings.")


  1. Your book is an excellent introduction to Corbin and his theosophical interpretation of the works of Iranian Shia thinkers, but it seems to be out of print at Amazon.com, unfortunately. This online version of your book may be the only option to meet with this great scholar for those who can't read the French En Islam Iranien. Thanks for your generosity.

  2. Oh dear - I see that you are right - but this is not good since it is NOT out of print and the publisher will have to see to that shortly - I know its available from Spring Journal Books at their website. Please try there & I will find out what is wrong with amazon.com

  3. Professor Cheetham, in honor of your work, I posted the book and your blog on Facebook
    Again all my respect and appreciation for your dedication and your invaluable contribution

  4. Thank you very much - I am glad to know the book is useful. Best wishes to you.