"...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, June 28, 2011
The Jung Wars revisited...
The Jung Wars. I was slightly annoyed at the time by the persistent refusal of so very many academics to regard Jung with anything but disdain and deep suspicion. I pointed out Shamdasani's work as something of an antidote to the prevalent misreading of Jung. I have been surprised that this post has drawn an unusually large number of page views. During my recent travels I heard tales of woe from a friend concerning the problems one can have in certain academic circles if one has an interest in Jung or in Henry Corbin. They are both persona non grata. I have tried to do my part to show why Corbin's work, in spite of some faults, might yet be useful and interesting. So, although I try now to post things not directly related to Henry Corbin on my other blog, I'll add a further note on this topic here. One other most important critic and defender of the work of Jung who I should have mentioned before is Susan Rowland. Her books so far are these: Jung: A Feminist Revision (2002), Jung As A Writer (2005) and C.G. Jung in the Humanities: Taking the Soul's Path (2010). I look forward to Psyche and Ecocriticism which is due out next summer. Rowland has recently accepted a position in the Core Faculty at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. I recently retrieved a memory of her work from the recesses of my mind since it has important bearing on my current writings on Corbin, Jung and Hillman. I wish I had recalled it sooner.
Posted by Tom Cheetham at 2:54 PM