"...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.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Pathways to an Inner Islam
Pathways to an Inner Islam: Massignon, Corbin, Guenon & Schuon
An introduction to four Western figures influenced by Sufism who wrote about an esoteric or spiritual “inner Islam.”
Pathways to an Inner Islam provides an introduction to the esoteric or spiritual “inner Islam” presented by Western thinkers Louis Massignon, Henry Corbin, René Guénon, and Frithjof Schuon. Particularly interested in Sufism—the mystical tradition of Islam—these four twentieth-century authors who wrote in French played an important role in presenting Islamic spirituality to the West and have also had an influence in parts of the Muslim world, such as Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan. Patrick Laude brings them together to argue that an understanding of their inner Islam challenges reductionist views of Islam as an essentially legalistic tradition and highlights its spiritual qualities. The book discusses their thought on the definitions of spiritual Islam and Sufism, the metaphysical and mystical understanding of the Prophet and the Quran, the function of femininity in Islamic spirituality, and the inner understanding of jihad. In addition, the writers’ Christian backgrounds and their participation in the intellectual and spiritual traditions of both Christianity and Islam offer a dynamic perspective on interfaith dialogue.
“Few questions could be more important for a contemporary understanding of Islam than the authority and interpretation of sacred texts, the role of women, and the nature and legitimacy of war. Laude addresses each of these issues, among others, with admirable sophistication.” — James S. Cutsinger, author of Advice to the Serious Seeker: Meditations on the Teaching of Frithjof Schuon
“This book makes a major contribution to Islamic studies by promoting the esoteric interpretation of Islam as a viable, tolerant alternative to the fundamentalists’ version of Islam.” — Mehdi Aminrazavi, author of The Wine of Wisdom: The Life, Poetry, and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam
Patrick Laude is Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. His books include Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding and Frithjof Schuon: Life and Teachings (coauthored with Jean-Baptiste Aymard), also published by SUNY Press.
Posted by Tom Cheetham at 1:56 PM