"...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.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Chances are I won't be posting much to this blog for a while. I'll be busy in the next weeks preparing for the program in New York on May 7th (Register here: New York Open Center). That talk, announced as "Poetry & Prayer as Spiritual Practice - In Search of the Lost Speech" is still "under development" and currently has as a working title "In Search of the Lost Speech: Nostalgia, Eros and the Angel Out Ahead."
I've also written a pair of essays on Corbin and ta'wil that will appear in consecutive issues of Sacred Web - #25 (Summer 2010) & #26 (Fall 2010). The current title is Coming Into the World: Henry Corbin & the Exegesis of the Soul. Part I - Cyclical Time and Part II - The Visionary Recital. I'll post notices when they are published.
I expect to turn the NY Open Center talk and developments of the Sacred Web pieces into lectures to be delivered in London this October for the Temenos Academy. The dates and details are not finalized yet but should be in the next few weeks.
In the meanwhile I'll post anything of interest that comes to my attention - & would hope that those with relevant items will contact me.
Posted by Tom Cheetham at 7:36 PM