"...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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Thursday, April 21, 2016

God is Beautiful

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5167-5
400 pages
February 2015, Polity

Reviewed by Todd Lawson:
doi: 10.1093/jaarel/lfw015
First published online: April 7, 2016

"... Though he does not mention it, the pioneering and prolific French scholar of Islamic thought,
Henry Corbin (d. 1978), was the first “Westerner” to have noticed, in several publications,
the literary-cum-existential power of this mode of reading/being and its instrumentality in ... "

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Todd Lawson on Ibn 'Arabi - May 7 in Berkeley

Ibn 'Arabi Society Lecture Series: An afternoon with Todd Lawson

Northbrae Community Church, Berkeley, CA
Saturday, May 7, 2016
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Water, Light, Knowledge: Towards an Ecology of Imagination

Robert Darr headshotTodd Lawson is emeritus professor of Islamic Thought at the University of Toronto where he taught for 25 years. He has published widely on Qur’an commentary (tafsir) the Qur'an as literature, Sufism, Shi'i Islam and the Babi and Bahai traditions. His book on Jesus in Islamic thought, The Crucifixion and the Qur'an was published in 2009 (Oneworld), his Gnostic Apocalypse and Islam in 2011 (Routledge). The article, "Qur'an and Epic" appeared recently in The Journal of Qur’anic Studies (2014: 16.1). This and other of his publications are available at www.toddlawson.ca. He is now writing a book on the Qur'an as sacred epic. He lives in Montreal.
"Water and Light pervade the writings of Ibn 'Arabi as they do the Quran itself. In the poetic literalism of Ibn 'Arabi's discourse, these everyday realities are frequently involved in specific events of knowing. Knowledge appears to be built upon water and light. Water and Light are also essential "hormones of the imagination" – they are elements of the natural realm that lead us beyond nature..."
Eventbrite - Ibn 'Arabi Society Lecture Series: an afternoon with Todd Lawson
The talk will be followed by discussion, and will take place in the Parlor Room at Northbrae Community Church, Berkeley.