"...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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Monday, June 14, 2010

Texts by Henry Corbin Available Online - Updated 7/23/10

!!This list has been updated - if you have this page bookmarked, please update to the new post HERE.

Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi (Google Books)
Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (pdf)
Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis (pdf)
En Islam Iranien Vol 2: Suhrawardi and the Platonists of Persia.
The History of Islamic Philosophy - Part I (pdf)
The History of Islamic Philosophy - Part II (pdf)

Swedenborg & Esoteric Islam
Temple and Contemplation Part 1 & Part 2 (pdf)
The Voyage and the Messenger

Essays and Interviews:

Apophatic Theology as Antidote to Nihilism
The Concept of Comparative Philosophy
"Dramatic Element Common to the Gnostic Cosmogonies of The Religions of The Book" from Studies in Comparative Religion.(pdf)
"Emblematic Cities"
The Eternal Sophia & in French (entire): "La Sophia Eternel"
Eyes of Flesh, Eyes of Fire
The Force of Traditional Philosophy in Iran Today
From Heidegger to Suhrawardi: An Interview with Philip Nemo
"The Imams and the Imamate" (Ch. 12) and "Shi'i Hermeneutics" (Ch. 13) in Shi'ism: Doctrines, Thought and Spirituality edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Hamid Dabashi (from Google Books)
The Jasmine of the Fideli d'Amore: A Discourse on Ruzbehan Baqli Shirazi. Sphinx: London
Mundus Imaginalis or, The Imaginary and the Imaginal (Ruth Horine's translation from Spring 1972)
Mundus Imaginalis or, The Imaginary and the Imaginal (Fox's translation from Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam)
"Mysticism & Humour"
"The Time of Eranos" (1956) and "Cyclical Time in Mazdaism and Ismailism" (1951) in Man and Time: Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks from Scridb.
The Paradox of Monotheism
"Prefatory Letter" to David Miller's The New Polytheism
"A Shi'ite Liturgy of the Grail"
"Theology by the Lakeside"
"Theophanies and Mirrors: Idols or Icons?"
"Theory of Visionary Knowledge in Islamic Philosophy," Temenos 8, 1987.

"Towards a Chart of the Imaginal" Prelude, 2nd French Edition of Spiritual Body & Celestial Earth.
"Réalisme et symbolisme des couleurs en cosmologie shî'ite" in
Eranos Jahrbuch 1972: The Realms of Colour / Die Welt der Farben / Le monde des couleurs, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974. (Searchable text through Google Books.)

"The Visionary Dream in Islamic Spirituality"

(I would appreciate knowing of any additions to this list. Thanks to all who have contributed. - TC -  tcheetham@gmail.com).

Folio from a Falnama (Book of Omens): Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey, mid 1550s-early 1560s. Safavid period. Qazvin, Iran. S1986.253a-b Freer & Sackler Galleries


  1. You can also find The Voyage and the Messenger and The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism via Google Books.

    Do you happen to know if we will see any more translations in English (En Islam Iranien particularly)?

  2. thanks - I'll get those on the post. I have not heard that anyone is currently working on En Islam Iranien - though some years ago a few people apparently made an initial attempt. And now that I think of it there is a book on Shi'ism, edited by Nasr et al. that does have some pages from that work translated. I will try to find time to track it down There may be some news about a book that will contain some new translations - stay tuned! - TC

  3. Scribd has a free downloadable .pdf translation into English of Henry Corbin's *In Iranian Islam - Vol.2, Suhrawardi and the Persian Platonists* at:


    Registration is free but required.

    I haven't examined it yet, so cannot comment further.

  4. This is potentially quite amazing - my internet connection is too slow to access the document but I'll get somewhere where I can as soon as possible. Many thanks.

  5. Charles Cameron: Thank you very much for the link to an English translation of En Islam Iranien vol. II! That's certainly more than I could hope for.

    Tom Cheetham: I found that the aforementioned anthology edited by Nasr et al (Shiʻism: Doctrines, Thought, and Spirituality) with two articles by Corbin is available in parts on Google Books.

    Keep up the good work with the Legacy!

  6. Thanks so much for the Nasr citation - that's the one I was looking for. I'll add it to the list.

  7. I found another article on Scribd: The Time of Eranos. (I suppose Cyclical Time in Mazdaism and Ismailism in the same document is identical with the first part of Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis.)

  8. Thanks very much for this. So nice to have some help. Also notice Massignon's essay in this volume. - Tom

  9. "Réalisme et symbolisme des couleurs en cosmologie shî'ite" with Deutsche Zusammenfassung and English summary, in Eranos Jahrbuch 1972: The Realms of Colour / Die Welt der Farben / Le monde des couleurs, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974. (Searchable text through Google Books.)

  10. Dramatic Element Common to the Gnostic Cosmogonoies of The Religions of The Book:


    Temple & Contemplation Part 1:


    Temple & Contemplation Part 2:


  11. Unfortunately, Part II of "Avicenna and the Visionary Recital" (Translation of the Persian Commentary on the Recital of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan) is missing.

  12. Thanks for posting such a valuable resource. I'm discovering a new world and your work has always opened doors

  13. ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΤΣΟΥΜΑΝΗΣ: It's also in the book as such and not only in the online version that part two of the French original edition unfortunately is missing - a translation of the Persian commentary on the "Recital of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan".

    I will also mention that the article "The Eternal Sophia" has been mentioned on the blog in September, but is not yet included in this list.

  14. thanks - now added. I will also have the French version of The Eternal Sophia posted in a week or two. - TC

  15. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of "Shi'i hermeneutics" by Corbin? Google books has blocked most chapters of "Shi'ism: Doctrines, thoughts and spirituality".

  16. Just uploaded Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam to SCRIBD:


  17. Just uploaded 'The Theme of the Voyage & the Messenger' to SCRIBD:


  18. Uploaded 'A Shi'ite Liturgy of the Grail' to SCRIBD:


  19. Does Anyone know if Kitab al-masha'ir (The Book of Metaphysical Penetrations), ed., trans. and intro. by H. Corbin is available in English?

    1. Yes, but without his introduction. It is a new translation by Nasr, foreword by Kalin.

  20. Use the Library Genesis website, some of these (Man of Light) are being taken down...

  21. Hello! Thank you very much for making these works available for download.

    Unfortunately, Corbin's "The Man of Light" has been removed from SCRIBD.