"...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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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Un monde ou l'amour devrait preceder toute connaissance...

Thanks to the indomitable Aziz Ibrahim we have at last the photographs of the final resting place of Henry Corbin and his wife Stella Leenhardt. 

This is from the obituary published in  Le Monde, October 10, 1978:

"The orientalist Henry Corbin, who died on October 7, 1978, was buried in the cemetery of Champeaux, Rue Gallieni, in the city of Montmorency, Val d' Oise."

The inscription on the grave stone is from the closing paragraph in his  review of Jung's Answer to Job, « La Sophia éternelle » (à propos du livre de C.G. Jung : Antwort auf Hiob), Revue de culture européenne 5, 1953.  In the French original it reads:

Un monde ou l'amour devrait preceder toute connaissance, ou le sens de la mort ne serait que la nostalgie de la resurrection.

In English: ...a world where love would precede all knowledge and where the sense of death would be only a nostalgic yearning for the resurrection...

You can zoom in on "A" on the map below: Rue Gallieni, 95160 Montmorency, France

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