"...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.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Lecture at the Samuel Jordan Center, UC Irvine
& The Program in Religious Studies
of the University of California at Irvine
A Country the Color of Heaven:
Islam, Iran and Imagination
in the Work of Henry Corbin
3:30 p.m., Tuesday,
May 10, 2011
Humanities Gateway 1030
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a uniquely creative Protestant theologian and a prolific and important scholar of Sufism and Islamic mysticism in general, with a particular focus on the religious thought of Shi’ite Iran. His vision of the unity of the grand sweep of the religions of the Prophetic Tradition - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - is of vital importance for the contemporary world. Corbin taught in Paris and in Teheran and lectured annually at the Eranos Conferences from 1949 until his death. He was a friend and colleague of C.G. Jung and shared his view of the central importance of the active imagination in human life. His works have had a lasting impact on scholars of religion, visionary thinkers and poets. His great book 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 spirituality and liberal theology in the contemporary world.
This illustrated lecture will introduce the life and work of Henry Corbin and provide an orientation in the basic themes of Islamic and Iranian spirituality as he understood them. We will outline his vision of the unity of the Religions of the Book. Topics include the mundus imaginalis and creative imagination, spiritual alchemy and the meaning of ta'wil, divine and human love, and the role of the Angel Holy Spirit in the life of the soul.
Event is open and free to the public.
For my other Los Angeles and Seattle Lectures
this May see West Coast Lectures
Posted by Tom Cheetham at 11:52 AM