"...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.
Editor’s Note:Politique Internationale is a French political affairs journal, dedicated in particular to international relations. Over the past 32 years, the journal has been recognized as a highly influential French-language publication addressing international issues. As a prominent French journal, it has published interviews with leaders from France and around the world, including His Highness the Aga Khan, whose interview with author and journalist Jean-Jaques Lafaye appeared in the spring 2010 issue (#127).
Simerg has just published an English translation of the interview in which the Ismaili Imam discusses a broad range of issues including the community he leads, philanthropy work, Islam, and the relationship between religion and State.