"...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, December 1, 2010

The Role of the Grail in Henry Corbin's Thought - Online Audio

I am delighted to announce that this superb lecture by Dr. John Carey can now be heard online at the Temenos Academy website here. The lecture has been presented in London and in Oxford. All students of Corbin will find it of the greatest interest. Carey's scholarship is first rate, and his analysis most penetrating.

The Role of the Grail in Henry Corbin's Thought

"Henry Corbin, one of the twentieth century's greatest scholars of the inspired Imagination, is best known for his studies of Shi'ite and Sufi spirituality; but his dedication to that dimension of reality which he called the mundus imaginalis led him to explore many other traditions as well. One theme which particularly captured his imagination was the image of the Grail. This lecture will look at what the Grail was for Corbin: at the versions of the story to which he refers, at the contexts in which he speaks of it, and at the hints of what he may have believed its essential significance to be."

John Carey is a Statutory Lecturer in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College, Cork, Ireland, and a Fellow of the Temenos Academy. His publications include King of Mysteries: Early Irish Religious Writings, A Single Ray of the Sun: Religious Speculation in Early Ireland, and Ireland and the Grail. A love of Arthurian legend drew him into Celtic studies early in life and has never left him.

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