"...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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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

Are you interested in the history of ‘alternative Christianities’? Or in the contribution of Islamic, Christian, and Jewish mysticism to Western culture? Ever wondered how occultism and magic shaped modern science and psychology? Or whether New Age is indeed new? In this Master programme you will find answers to questions such as these.

Recently, interest has been booming in topics related to the notions of Gnosticism, esotericism, and mysticism, both in academic discussion and outside academia. The relevance of mystical and esoteric currents in the history of religion in Europe, as well as the impact of Hermetic and Gnostic spirituality, challenge monolithic narratives of European religious and cultural identities. The MA programme ‘Concealed Knowledge’ meets these challenges and offers a deeper analysis of the processes involved.

The modules offered in this programme will familiarize you with the most important discussions and historical developments that are related to Gnosticism, esotericism, and mysticism. After a solid introduction to ancient esoteric and Gnostic discourse, you will become acquainted with mystical traditions and the influence of kabbalistic esotericism in Western culture from late antiquity through today. A third module focuses on the modern period and the processes of exchange between East and West that have shaped the contemporary religious landscapes. 

In Collaboration with the Rice University Program in 

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