"...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.

Search The Legacy of Henry Corbin: Over 800 Posts

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Corbin & Poetry, continuing... #29

I present this post as a node leading off in several directions at once. There is enough here to keep the interested person busy for a long time...

In a letter to me (an actual, physical letter in longhand) Duncan McNaughton wrote:

"As far as I know - not far - Jack Clarke's work (From Feathers to Iron [at amazon]) and subsequent poetry of his, is the most evident use of Corbin after Olson's. In a primary determination involving, obviously, several other primaries - Blake, the Dogon stuff, Novalis, di Santillana, etc. All aimed at what is actually meant by what is called 'interpretation.' "

And see this Interview with Stephen Ellis - on, among (many) other things, John Clarke and his poetry (In the Analogy: Parts 1-7).

I also must mention Kenneth Warren's wonderful print publication House Organ in which he promises to include at least excerpts from his "Between Language & Ta'wil: Robert Creeley, Jack Clarke & Poetics in Buffalo after Olson" presented at the Soul in Buffalo Conference last year.

John Clarke and Charlie Keil performing "Neolithic Man without a Fravarti" (from here)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

International Conference on Shahb al-Din Suhrawardi

International Conference on Shahb al-Din Suhrawardi
Organized by:  University of Tehran, Iranian Institute of Philosophy, University of Damascus, University of Aleppo Venue:Damascus & Aleppo Cities, Syrian Arab Republic 10-12 May, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Online Texts by and about Henry Corbin

We have these wonderful and very significant additions to the list thanks to Daniel Proulx. These have been added to the Corbin Texts Online page.

1933 - « Pour l’anthropologie philosophique : un traité persan inédit de Suhrawardî d’Alep », dans Recherches philosophiques, T. 2, 1933, pp. 371-423
1968 : Corbin, H. et Eliade, M., À propos des conférences Eranos, Eranos Fondation, Ascona, 1968, 31p.
1978 : Eranos and its meaning, Eranos Fondation, Ascona, 1979, 20p..

1949 : «  L’Iran, patrie des philosophes et des poètes », Réforme, 19 oct. 1946, p. 4 (repris dans CORBIN, Henry, « L’Iran patrie des philosophes et des poètes », dans L’âme de l’Iran, Paris, Albin Michel, 1990, pp.27-32)
1975 : STAPERT, A., L'ange roman dans la pensée et dans l'art, préface « La rencontre avec l’Ange » de Henry Corbin, Paris, Berg international, 1975, 64 pl. + 441 p. (coll. « Tradition et culture » no.3) 
1976 : CORBIN, H., « Préface - Les Cités emblématiques », dans Ispahan image du paradis de STIERLIN, H., Lausanne/Paris, la Bibliothèque des arts, 1976, pp.1-11
1932 : BARTH, K., Misère et grandeur de l'Eglise évangélique, trad. par CORBIN, H., extrait de Foi et Vie, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Imprimerie "Je sers", 1932, 36 p.
Articles sur Corbin
1978 : VIEILLARD-BARON, J.-L., « In memoriam Henry Corbin », dans Bulletin de la Société Ligérienne de Philosophie, vol. 1, 1978, pp.64-67.
1978 : RUSPOLI, S., « L’œuvre d’Henry Corbin », dans Bulletin de la Société Ligérienne de Philosophie, vol. 1, 1978, pp.68-71.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Corbin Conference - Université de Montréal le mercredi 23 février 2011

Henry Corbin : Vers une minorité de pensées majoritaires

Conférence organisée par la Chaire de recherche du Canada 
avec Daniel Proulx (Université de Montréal - Voir résumé
le mercredi 23 février 2011, de 17h à 19h 
au pavillon Marguerite-d'Youville, 
salle 5031, Université de Montréal. 

Henry Corbin (1903-1978) est un historien des religions, un orientaliste et un philosophe dont la spécialité était l’islam iranien. L’iranologie lui doit l’édition, la traduction et le commentaire de la plupart des textes français de la tradition iranienne mystique, théosophique ou spirituelle que nous avons entre les mains. Pourtant le travail de Corbin est souvent ostracisé voire simplement ignoré et lorsque l’on ose parler des traditions mystiques et spirituelles de l’islam, plus souvent qu’autrement, la pensée de Corbin est simplement pillée.

Pourquoi l’approche du phénomène religieux et spirituel de Henry Corbin est une approche minoritaire et généralement contestée au sein de l’université? Quels aspects de la pensée de Henry Corbin font de celle-ci une pensée qui dérange?
Cette discussion sur Henry Corbin ne vise pas à statuer de manière définitive sur sa pensée, nous utiliserons plutôt la pensée de Corbin pour réfléchir aux approches de la Réalité et plus particulièrement sur la dimension spirituelle de l’être.

Au final, la pensée philosophique de Corbin permet peut-être de mieux saisir la relation intime existant entre majorité et minorité, car paradoxalement la minorité n’existe pas sans la majorité et la majorité n’existe pas sans la minorité. Alors où et comment peut-on comprendre en soi la majorité et la minorité. Pour Corbin, il y a une « simultanéité, une coincidentia, entre la fusion unitive et la séparation distinctive; entre l’extinction de Dieu dans les créatures et l’effacement des créatures en Dieu, de sorte que l’œil de la vision intérieure contemple l’Unité dans la multitude des formes, et contemple la multitude des formes dans la vision même de l’Unité. » (Henry Corbin,L’Iran et la philosophie, Fayard, 1990, p.151)

Corbin at Pacifica

In addition to the thesis posted earlier, From mundus imaginalis to nakoja-abad: An inquiry into the imaginal world of soul through the visionary recitals of Shahabeddin Yahya Sohravardiby Kiyanoosh Shamlou, here are three more citations from Pacifica Graduate Institute that relate to Henry Corbin:

Daniel Walsh - "Imagination and reality : a study of cogitative imagination in Henry Corbin and depth psychology" (M.A. Thesis in Counseling Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2007).

Robert Lay - "Exploring subjectivity in the work of Jung, Heidegger, and Corbin through an artistic dialogue of film" (Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2006). The full text can be downloaded on ProQuest

Tracey Lee Hess - "Consciousness and quantum physics: Freud's death instinct and the phenomenology of Corbin's mundus imaginalis manifested as a complex fractal in epilepsy", Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2004. Also available from ProQuest.

(Thanks to Hadi Fakhoury)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Illuminated Verses Series in NYC

Courtesy of Silliman's Blog:

March 19 in NYC
Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
Introduction to the Language of the Qur’an
with Bruce Lawrence

April 26 in NYC
Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
Mohammed Bennis

April 28 in NYC
Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
Kewulay Kamara & West African Jali musicians
attempt to recreate an oral epic
after the lone written copy was destroyed
in Sierra Leone’s civil war

May 3 in NYC
Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
Precarious Lives: Arab Poets since Pre-Islamic Times
with Muhsin al-Musawi

May 5 in NYC
Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
From Tablet to Pen: A Literary History of Islam
with Reza Aslan

May 7 in NYC
Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World
Bridging Cultures (Marathon!)
, with
Najwa Adra, Muzaffar Alam, Ammiel Alcalay,
Kazim Ali, Reza Aslan, Kaveh Bassiri,
Clarissa Burt, Steven Caton, Sylviane Diouf,
Pierre Joris, Mohja Kahf, Persis Karim,
Khaled Mattawa, Jawid Mojaddedi, Stefania Pandolfo,
Frances W. Pritchett, Mahwash Shoaib & Others

Friday, February 18, 2011

HC & Social Media...

We are seeing some useful & interesting activity on the Henry Corbin FACEBOOK PAGE. If you use facebook you will probably want to "friend" him...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Henry Corbin : penseur de l'islam spirituel

par Daryush Shayegan
Éditeur : Albin Michel
Résumé : Quelle synthèse et quels apports tirer de la monumentale étude de l’Islam iranien par H. Corbin ? Une remarquable réflexion sur le cheminement et les résultats de sa pensée, des études médiévales à l’EPHE à l’Islam spirituel en Iran, rigoureusement conduite par un penseur qui l’a bien connu. READ THE REVIEW

(Thanks to Daniel Proulx for alerting us to this.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sublime Visions of Philosophy

"The Sublime Visions of Philosophy: Fundamental Ontology and the Imaginal World," Mohammad Azadpur.
2006, Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology on the Perennial Issue of Microcosm and Macrocosm, Section III, Pages 183-201.

Azadpur - The Sublime Visions of Philosophy_ Fundamental Ontology and the Imaginal World

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Illuminationist Approach

"On the illuminationist approach to imaginal power: outline of a perspective" by Mahmoud Khatami. Topoi, 2007, Volume 26, Number 2, Pages 221-229.

Khatami - Illuminationist Approach to Imaginal Power Outline of a Perspective

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ibn 'Arabi & Rumi Conference

Ibn ’Arabi and Rumi
Wisdom of the Sufis – Teachings for the Modern World

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute at Columbia University

Friday & Saturday, November 4 & 5

In 2009, The Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society and the New York Open Center began the first of a series of conferences on the great mystic Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (1165–1240). We now present the second conference in this series, this one focusing on the teachings of both Ibn ‘Arabi and Jalaluddin Rumi (1207–1273), the other giant of Sufi mysticism.

Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi and Jalaluddin Rumi are unquestionably the two great pillars of Islamic mysticism, known as Sufism. They appeared in the same century, one from the Muslim West, the other from the East, bringing a glorious new vision of human potential and realization that has been a source of inspiration ever since. Their words continue to touch us directly, inviting us to explore the heart as the place of wisdom and love. This first symposium ever dedicated to both these spiritual masters will be a uniquely exciting opportunity to learn about and discuss their teachings with leading scholars in the field, which include James Morris, Pablo Beneito, Mahmut Killic, Stephen Hirtenstein, Franklin Lewis, Cecilia Twinch, and several others. There will be lectures and workshops as well as an evening concert with traditional and original musical/artistic performances, which will include performers such as Coleman Barks, Grammy Award winner, David Darling and other artists.

1st Early Bird price $125 by June 10
2nd Early Bird price $145 by October 10
$165 after October 10
Evening Concert
Price TBA
Location of all events: Columbia University

To register call 212-219-2527 x 0 or 2 or visit www.opencenter.org.
also see www.ibnarabisociety.org and visit conference website: www.opencenter.org/ibn-arabi

Enoe Aracely Brown
Program Director                                       
New York Open Center
22 East 30 Street
New York, NY 10016
212-219-2527 ext 140 or 0

Saturday, February 12, 2011

« Manifeste », dans Hic et Nunc 1, novembre 1932, pp. 1-3.

To complete the articles in Hic et Nunc by Henry Corbin et al. here is « Manifeste », dans Hic et Nunc 1, novembre 1932, pp. 1-3. (Courtesy of Hadi Fakhoury)
Corbin Et Al. - Hic Et Nunc 1932 - Manifesto

Friday, February 11, 2011

From mundus imaginalis to nakoja-abad

From mundus imaginalis to nakoja-abad: An inquiry into the imaginal world of soul through the visionary recitals of Shahabeddin Yahya Sohravardiby Kiyanoosh Shamlou. A dissertation submitted to Pacifica Graduate Institute. "Jungian and archetypal psychology's theoretical basis is of working with images that emerge from the unconscious through the exploration of imagination. In this context, imagination is a tool utilized exclusively for bringing the world of the unconscious into consciousness. What has been neglected in this endeavor is the failure to appreciate the spiritual dimension of imagination, which provides awareness of spiritual experiences and access to more transpersonal levels of the psyche."

From mundus imaginalis to nakoja-abad: An inquiry into the imaginal world of soul through the visionary recitals of Shahabeddin Yahya Sohravardi. -

Thanks to Hadi Fakhoury for finding this one.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Oriental Theosophy and Goethe's West-East Divan"

Hossein Mehdizadeh (PhD candidate in the German Studies Department at McGill) is giving a talk titled "Oriental Theosophy and Goethe's West-East Divan" based on his doctoral dissertation. The presentation will be held on February 10th  at 15:00 PM in the German Studies Department, Sherbrooke 688, Room 486.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Henry Corbin’s Intellectual Journey

Amelie Neuve-Eglise: "Hermeneutics and the Unique Quest of Being: Henry Corbin’s Intellectual Journey," Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 3-26.
More of her writings at La Revue de Teheran

(Thanks to Hadi Fakhoury for calling our attention to this)