"...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, March 30, 2011

New Article on Corbin

AYENEH MAREFAT SPRING 2007; -(10):67-98.

ABSTRACT: The fate of Islamic philosophy and wisdom in Iran and its comparison with that in other lands is one of the topics that orientalists have dealt with since long ago. The most dominant theory in this regard in formal orientology circles states that Islamic philosophy came to an end with Ibn Rushd. In contrast, Henry Corbin, the distinguished French philosopher, Islamist, and oriental’s, maintains that this is not the case; rather philosophy has always been alive in the world of Islam, particularly in Iran, which is the cradle of Shiism and Shii thought. He also believes that after Ibn Sina, unlike what happened in the West with the replacement of Ibn Rushd, Islamic philosophy and wisdom continued their life with Suhrawardi and Ibn Arabi, and in the light of the religious teachings of Shiite Imams. They pursued their transcending process of development still further, until in the Safawid period they were gloriously revived by Mulla Sadra and some of his predecessors and successors. Presently, they are experiencing their period of expansion, perfection and flourishing. In the present paper, it has been tried to analyze and explain the above theory, to present the proofs and arguments underlying it, and to compare it with the theory common among orientologists through a study of Corbin's works and clarifying the strong relationship and profound unity between Islamic Wisdom and shii beliefs, disseminated either by the descendants of Imam Ali(a) or legal guardians and based on the esoteric approach of Shii teachings.

Thanks to Hadi Fakhoury for this reference. I am reminded that I have not updated the bibliography in some long while. When I do this will be in it.

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