"...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, March 29, 2010

Music of Central Asia

The Music of Central Asia

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative (a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture), is producing a 10-CD/DVD set documenting the music of Central Asia.

Volumes 1-9 of the Music of Central Asia series are currently available for purchase. This ground-breaking, newly recorded, and GRAMMY-nominated series presents authentic musical traditions of Central Asia as they are performed today, featuring some of the region's most outstanding artists. From the nomadic and bardic cultures of the steppes to the classical court traditions of the cities, this series celebrates musicians who display a mastery of older traditions and also embody a contemporary spirit of innovation. Produced in conjunction with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, each release includes an extensive color booklet and comes with a vivid bonus DVD containing a series introduction, ~24-minute film, interactive glossary and map.

(Thanks to Ron Silliman for alerting his blog readers to this.)
The minaret of Jam, Western Afghanistan.

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