"...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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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Note to Readers

I came to Henry Corbin through reading James Hillman quite a few years ago now. I was teaching biology and environmental studies at the time and my fundamental commitment to "ecology" and environmentalism in a very broad sense remains as it was then. As my work on Corbin winds down (maybe one more book of essays if I can find a publisher) I expect to put most of my time and energy back into the ecological implications of this work on language, imagination, the psyche and embodiment - and "environmentalism" generally. As I no longer have students to share some of my musings with it seems likely that I'll want to post things that are related in some way to these larger issues. I've already begun straining at the limits of relevance of the Legacy of Henry Corbin. Some time ago I started a blog with this in mind and I expect I'll begin posting there fairly often. For those with an interest, keep an eye here: A Music Long Before Meaning.

I do expect to keep posting to The Legacy of Henry Corbin and am alway glad to have suggestions for posts and links.

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