"...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 13, 2014

Il logos dello ierofante

A new Phd Dissertation on Henry Corbin

Il logos dello ierofante. 
Docetismo e metafisica dell'immagine nella filosofia delle religioni 
di Henry Corbin

by Roberto Revello

(In Italian)

English Summary:

We outline a specific profile of philosophy of religion emerging from the work of Henry Corbin, a thinker who engages with contemporary issues, interpreter of the Iranian Shi’ite tradition and of the currents of Gnosis,. The first chapter is devoted to the phenomenological method of Docetism. Compared to the bettern-known issue of mundus imaginalis, the Docetism is equally crucial: it is familiar to many Eastern and Western gnostic currents – a downright critical theory of visionary knowledge, that rebuilds metaphysics in a perspective that goes beyond Nietzsche and Heidegger, and an ontology not primarily ontic, not simply predicative, but “ontophanique” (G. Durand). In the second chapter we have meant to discuss the docetist theoretical foundations of ‘image’, starting from the illusory paradox of the regard granted to imagination in the Islamic context, usually defined as aniconic. The aniconic instance is analysed starting from the contrast between “idol” and “icon”: the first is the opaque image, the second is the transparent mirror. The image, at that level, is not the imitation of a model, but the ability to mirror, and a constitutive relating with the other outside the self: unus ambo, dualitude. In the third chapter we present the main focus of this kind of Docetism: to actualize the spiritual. The specificity of the Iranian Islam is confronted with the Platonic tradition of the Russian theology, the psychology of Jung, and a Western archaic sense of the image. Finally, in order to avoid any relativist misunderstanding, we reflect, along with Corbin, upon what makes a vision true.

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