"...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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Monday, February 27, 2012

Vernacular Aristotelianism

While not directly relevant to Corbin & his concerns I can't pass up noting the following project of the Warwick University Centre for the Study of the Renaissance which would no doubt have delighted Etienne Gilson:

Starting 1 October 2010, a 3-year research project at Warwick (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) is studying the Renaissance diffusion of Aristotelian works in the Italian vernacular. This initiative tries to redress the almost exclusive concentration on Latin Aristotelianism among historians of philosophy and ideas in recent decades and aims to provide an electronic census and description of all relevant materials in both manuscript and print. Furthermore, it aims to bring together historians of language, literature, philosophy, science and culture to explore how Aristotelianism increasingly reached a broad and non-Latinate public.
The project, involving a collaboration between the University of Warwick and the Warburg Institute in London, is led by Dr David Lines (Warwick, Department of Italian), with the support at Warwick of Professor Simon Gilsonand, at the Warburg Institute, of Professor Jill Kraye. Professor Luca Bianchi (Vercelli), along with a distinguished group of scholars on the project's advisory board, is providing further expertise. A crucial part in the development of this project is played by the research fellow, Dr Eugenio Refini (based at Warwick), and by the PhD student, Miss Grace Allen (based at the Warburg).

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