"...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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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ibn Arabi's Thinking on the Imagination and the World of Image

We have this news from Dr. van Lit:

L.W. Cornelis (Eric) van Lit

New Research Project: Ibn Arabi's Thinking on the Imagination and the World of Image

Dr. Cornelis van Lit, of Utrecht University, has been awarded a grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research to conduct four years of research on the notion of the imagination according to Ibn ʿArabī and his commentators. 'Imagination' is a central concept for Ibn ʿArabī, and this has certainly not gone unnoticed by scholars. However, a great amount of relevant literature remains extant only in manuscripts, virtually untouched, something Dr. Van Lit wishes to remedy. Moreover, Dr. Van Lit approaches the topic as a historian of philosophy, whereas most scholars working on Ibn ʿArabī come with expertise in sufism or mysticism. Dr. Van Lit previously wrote on a similar medieval discussion, among the philosopher Suhrawardī and his commentators (The World of Image in Islamic Philosophy, published by Edinburgh University Press). Most recently he published in the Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society on the difference (and similarity) between Suhrawardī and Ibn ʿArabī on the notion of a 'world of image' (ʿālam al-mithāl). 

Do you have specific ideas about this topic? Do you know somebody who is working on a similar topic? Or do you have access to sources perhaps relevant for this project? Cornelis wants to hear from you. Please contact him by e-mail, Facebook, Academia profile, or his weblog. For more information, see https://digitalorientalist.com/ibn-arabis-reshaping-of-the-muslim-imagination/

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