"...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, April 30, 2010

Robin Blaser, Henry Corbin & James Hillman

The Holy Forest  Collected Poems of Robin Blaser
Revised and Expanded Edition. Edited by Miriam Nichols. Foreword by Robert Creeley. With a New Afterword by Charles Bernstein.

As I've mentioned before (here) Blaser draws on Corbin both in this volume and in his Collected Essays. You can find these quotes at Google Books, or preferably, in your own copy...

On page 238, the quote is from Man of Light, p. 4.
On page 339, from Hillman's "Thought of the Heart."
On page 500, from Creative Imagination, p. 203.

For those who may not know, Hillman's Eranos Lecture "The Thought of the Heart" is an extended response to Corbin and a must read for all with an interest in Corbin's influence. Hillman's essay can be read here.

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