"...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.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence
6th-7th May 2011, University of Kent, Canterbury
This is an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to sharing and discussing new insights into inspired creativity. In many traditions the fount of creative vision and the source of divinatory insight is located in an intelligent ‘other’, whether this is termed god, angel, spirit, muse or daimon, or whether it is seen as an aspect of the human imagination and the activation of the ‘unconscious’ in a Jungian sense. From the artistic genius to the tarot reader, the sense of communication with another order of reality is commonly attested. Such communication may take the form of a flash of intuitive insight, psychic or clairvoyant ability, or spiritual possession. In art and literature many forms have been given to the daimonic intelligence, from angels to aliens, and in the realm of new age practices encounters with spiritual beings are facilitated through an increasing variety of methods including shamanism, hypnotherapy, mediumship, psychedelics, channelling and spirit materialisation.
The conference is not concerned with ‘proving’ or ‘disproving’ the existence of such beings. Rather, it will focus on the theme of how the ‘numinous other’ is conveyed and depicted, how its voice is heard, how it informs, and has always informed, human experience.
The conference will be fully interdisciplinary, perspectives may include those from art, literature, divination, cultural studies, philosophy, theology and RS, spirituality, anthropology, classics, history, psychology, film studies and sociology. Presentations should be 30 minutes in length, to be followed by 15 minutes discussion.
Posted by Tom Cheetham at 12:01 AM