"...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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Friday, March 16, 2012

Pluralism & Paganism

European Identity Politics and the Memory of Paganism – a conference panel in Amsterdam, 20 April 2012

The identity of Europe has typically been built on the two pillars of Christianity and Enlightenment secularism. Consequently, religious alternatives are always positioned in systems of pluralism where “Christianity” and the “secular society” are seen as hegemonic. Other religious identities (e.g. Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist) are thus typically seen as additions to the main stream of European culture, rather than integral parts of the development of European culture itself. This monolithic view of European identity is however increasingly being rejected by scholars: not even in the Middle Ages was “Christianity” a monolithic entity, nor was it the only religious identity available. READ MORE

Also of interest:
Radical Platonism in Byzantium : Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon
Niketas Siniossoglou, University of Cambridge

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