"...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, August 3, 2011

Mervin, Sabrina (Ed.). The Shia Worlds and Iran. London: Saqi, 2010

From Africa to Asia, there are areas that are home to minority and in some cases majority groups of Twelver Shia. Geography and history place Iran at the centre of these Shia worlds, but to what extent can we speak of an 'Iranian model' that these groups follow? This volume presents the Shi'a worlds in all their complexities and explores the tenuous relations between these groups and Iran. It also sheds light on little-known communities such as the Ironi Shi'a of Uzbekistan, and refines our understanding of groups studied more extensively like the Shia's in Iraq. Published in association with the Institut Francais du Proche-Orient.

AUTHOR BIO: Sabrina Mervin has been the co-director of the IISMM (Paris), from 2008 to January 2011 and is a senior researcher at the CNRS.

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