"...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.
Tehran Times: The Persian translation of the second volume of Henry Corbin’s “En Islam Iranien” (Islam in Iran) was unveiled during a ceremony here on Saturday at the venue of Fars News Agency.
Translator Reza Kuhkan and editor Shahin Avani attended the ceremony where Avani talked about her years of cooperation with Corbin as a researcher at the Institute of Wisdom and Philosophy of Iran.
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a philosopher, theologian and professor of Islamic Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
At the session, Avani began to talk first and said that the review of the 4-volume book ‘En Islam Iranien’ shows that if an individual is after good research, he should study this book, which is actually an international research work.
“Corbin refers to the great sources in this book, which have not either been published in Iran nor in the Arab countries. Only some of them are found as manuscripts in our libraries,” she stated.
Avani added, “The author has spent 20 years on writing this book and has covered the shortages existing in some of the books written by our great scholars.
“So many books with the similar themes have so far been translated into Persian, but translating a book like this with such deep meaning from French into Persian was a lofty task carried out by scholar Kuhkan,” she mentioned.
Avani also added that, “Corbin has written the book for the people of the West. He was well aware of the viewpoints of Westerners about Islam and the East. And the translator has tried to complete the book in its translation for the Iranian readers and has added additional explanations in the footnotes.”
Kuhkan who spoke next explained about the Persian translation of the title of the book and said, “I did not want to restrict Islam to one specific pattern or nation. Corbin himself did not want that either.”