"...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, February 28, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Corbin & American Poetry - The Continuing Series

As readers of this blog will know Robert Kelly, George Quasha and Charles Stein are among the most important poets to have been explicit about the influence of Henry Corbin on their work. George Quasha and Charles Stein published Ta'wil or, How to Read in conjunction with Kelly in 1973.

Kelly has written:

A fundamental exercise in ta’wil is to study what happens to you when you write the world down. When you say it aloud. / How does the world change when the word is made? / A poem is the ta’wil of the first word written down. / The intercourse of sound and sense is trivial on ay analytical level. It means in a different way. I mean it means in a different world. / It is the other side of the consensus. - Kelly, A Voice Full of Cities, 2014, 284.

I am delighted to have the author's pemission to present here a link to a remarkable essay by George Quasha on Kelly's book of poetry Uncertainties.


To be published in the companion volume to A Voice Full of Cities
titled A City Full of Voices, due out this year.