"...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, January 28, 2011

Peter O'Leary on the Spiritual in Poetry

Peter O'Leary on the spiritual in poetry - in the Chicago Review : Apocalypticism - A Way Forward for Poetry. (pdf)

Another indication of the continuing influence of Henry Corbin - this time explicitly in the work of Joseph Donahue. This is a fine essay, well worth the attention of admirers of Corbin's work.[See this review of Donohue's Terra Lucida.]

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the essa very much. To find new voices in poetry is hard. I hav elong admired Oppen, and to know that he has heirs is significant. I am also a keen studen of Corbin; his work has influenced mine in prose. In fact, I met his wife many years ago in Paris.
    Right now I am in Italy, one a two month sojourn. I am interested in setting up a convivium here at Villa Corliano (see web). You may be interested in this prospect - possiby next year in May.
    I have and do lecture occasionally in Michigan. But my essential background is literature - novels, essays and poetry (seek Wikipedia).
    Thank you again for this essay.

    Best wishes,

    James Cowan
    (australian author)