"...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.

Search The Legacy of Henry Corbin: Over 800 Posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Angels In-Between

Angels In-Between: The Poetics of Excess and the Crisis of Representation by Cosma, Ioana, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO , 2009, 296 pages; NR72375    PDF HERE

From the Abstract:  This dissertation examines the reconfiguration of the limits of representation in reference to the intermediary function of angels. The Modernist engagement with the figure of the angel entailed, primarily, a reconsideration of the problem of representation as well as an attempt to trace the contours of a poetics that plays itself outside the mimetic understanding of representation. My contention is that this transformation of literary referentiality was not simply a disengagement of art from reality but, rather, from the truth-falsity, reality-fiction, subject-object dichotomies. The angel, defined as the figure of passage par excellence , but also as the agency that induces the transformation of the visible in the invisible and vice versa, appears both as a model/archetype and as a guide towards the illumination of this intermediary aesthetic. Working with the joined perspectives from angelology, contemporary phenomenology, and poetics, this dissertation is an extended overview of the notion of intermediary spaces, as well as an attempt to probe the relevance of this concept for the field of literary studies.

Thanks to Hadi Fakhoury for pointing out this dissertation which was co-supervised by Paul Colilli and relies extensively on Corbin.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ronald Johnson - A Poetry of the Imaginal

Ronald Johnson's (1935-1998) poetry is "thoroughly devoted to the imaginal; his work is an elaboration of mesocosmic realities." - Peter O'Leary

Of Johnson's major long poem Ross Hair writes,

"Johnson's sense of cosmos in ARK pertinently echoes the ideas expressed by the depth-psychologist James Hillman in his essay "Alchemical Blue." According to Hillman: "The world is as we see it in our dreams and poems, visions and paintings, a world that is truly a cosmos, cosmetically adorned, an aesthetic event for the senses because they have become instruments of imagining." Like Hillman, ARK posits the world as "an aesthetic event for the senses" whose multifarious phenomena provide the eclectic "instruments of imagining" which offer insight and revelation about the nature and mysteries of the universe." See Hair's essay and his book-length study of Johnson.

 Johnson's books include:
The Book of the Green Man, WW Norton, 1967 (available online here)
ARK, Living Batch Press, 1996 - to be reissued in 2011 by Flood Editions.
To Do As Adam Did: Selected Poems of Ronald Johnson, Talisman House, 2000
The Shrubberies - Flood Editions, 2001. Reviewed here in Jacket2
Radi Os, Flood Editions, 2005

Also indispensible is
Ronald Johnson: Life and Works, Edited by Joel Bettridge and Eric Murphy Selinger, National Poetry Foundation, 2008

A wide variety of links to poetry, interviews & resources from Peter O'Leary here.
O'Leary's recent interview discusses Johnson and is well worth attention for many reasons.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Corbin & Lubac

I have this interesting bit of news from Daniel Proulx:
"Talem eum vidi qualem capere potui. Cette idée n’est peut-être pas directement de Corbin puisque je viens de trouver que Henri de Lubac donne la citation exacte dans Aspect du bouddhisme de 1951. La date de la publication de ce livre de Lubac concorde avec la première occurrence dans l’œuvre de Corbin. De plus, Lubac indique clairement le rapport au docétisme! J’en conclus que Corbin utilise de Lubac comme source de cette citation des Actes de Pierre, mais qu’il ne la nomme pas!"
Lubac citation is here:

Imaginal World - in Danish

Det Imaginale Livssyn
by Elisabeth Egekvist, M.A., Denmark

With an English summary here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Esotericism & Mysticism Conference in Russia

Call for Papers 2011

Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism
in collaboration with:
Russian Christian Academy for Humanities (Saint-Petersburg),
H. S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)
Ukrainian Association of Religion Researchers
Research Center for Mysticism and Esotericism (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Fifth International Conference
Mystic and Esoteric Movements in Theory and Practice

Historical and Philosophical Aspects of
the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism

December 2 – 5, 2011 - St Petersburg (Russia)

Keynote lecture:
Dr. Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Goethe & Jung

Given Corbin's affinity for the German Romantic Tradition and his close association with Jung, this volume, and the other work of Paul Bishop, may well be of interest to readers of this blog.

Spring Journal and Spring Journal Books
Spring Journal Books
(the book publishing imprint of Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, the oldest Jungian psychology journal in the world)
Reading Goethe at Midlife
Reading Goethe at Midlife
Ancient Wisdom, German Classicism, and Jung
By Paul Bishop
The second volume in the Zurich Lecture Series in Analytical Psychology
Co-sponsored by ISAPZURICH and Spring Journal Books
ISBN: 978-1-935528-06-7
280 pp.
Price: $26.95
This book explores the history of the idea of the midlife crisis, using the writings of C.G. Jung and Goethe to investigate its relevance for today. Tracing how the "ages of humankind" became "the stages of life," in which the midlife crisis represents a pivotal moment, Paul Bishop offers a detailed analysis of a paper by Jung on this subject. He then shifts the focus to Goethe's interest in Orphic wisdom, and one of Goethe's major later poems, "Primal Words. Orphic" (Urworte. Orphisch). Using Jungian ideas to explore the psychological implications of this poem, Bishop draws on Goethe's own commentary, and other background material, to uncover its vital message.

Reading Goethe at Midlife reveals the remarkable symmetry between the ideas of Jung and Goethe. Jung's analysis of the stages of life, and his advice to heed the "call of the self," are brought into conjunction with Goethe's emphasis on the importance of hope, showing an underlying continuity of thought and relevance from ancient wisdom, via German classicism, to analytical psychology.
Praise for Reading Goethe at Midlife
At a time when many Jungians are turning to neuroscience to provide an external underpinning for Analytical Psychology, this scholarly book is very welcome: it returns to psychology's home territory, placing Jung firmly in a long cultural tradition. Impressively well-read in many fields extending from literature and the history of ideas to psychoanalysis and Jungian studies, Paul Bishop allows a text by Jung and a late poem by Goethe to mirror and enhance each other, demonstrating Jung's intellectual proximity to the tradition of German classicism. The wealth of "amplifications" that Bishop brings to the many themes treated allows us to experience a living reality - a continuity of ideas across different times and cultures.
Chapter 1: The Stages of Life and the Midlife Crisis: A Brief History of an Idea
Two Visual Starting Points – From the Ages of Humankind… – …to the Stages of Life – The Stages of Life: An Idea Comes of Age – The Midlife Crisis – Walter B. Pitkin and Edmund Bergler – Erik H. Erikson and Elliott Jaques – Gail Sheehy and Daniel J. Levinson – Other Approaches, Including the Return of the Noonday Demon – Jungian Approaches to Midlife – Literature of the Nineties – Recent French Approaches: Éric Deschavanne and Pierre-Henri Tavoillot, Marie de Hennezel and Bertrand Vergely
Chapter 2: The Turning Point in Life: What Conflict the Sun Must Experience at Midday
Chapter 3: Goethe's Orphism
The Cult of Orpheus – Orpheus in the Age of Romanticism – Goethe's Relation to the Orphic Mysteries – Creuzer and Hermann, Zoega and Welcker – Faust as Orpheus – Orphism, and Primal Words
Chapter 4: Primal Words. Orphic
Daimon – Chance – Eros – The Necessity of Love; or, Erotic Necessity – The Necessity of Necessity; or, Necessary Necessity – Hope – Conclusion
About the Author:
Paul Bishop, B.A., D.Phil., studied at Oxford University and is Professor of German at the University of Glasgow. His research has focused on the intellectual background to analytical psychology. His books include Analytical Psychology and German Classical Aesthetics, Jung's "Answer to Job": A Commentary, and The Dionysian Self: C.G. Jung's Reception of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Iranian philosophy and comparative philosophy" reprinted

From the Iran Book News Agency - A new edition of "Iranian philosophy and comparative philosophy" written by Henry Corbin will be published. The book has been published in 1990 by Iranology assembly of France and Tous publication. DETAILS HERE

Monday, August 8, 2011

ASE 2012 Conference Call for Papers

ASE 2012 Conference Call for Papers

Association for the Study of Esotericism
Fourth International Conference
Call for Papers: Esotericism, Religion, and Culture
June 14-17, 2012

The Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) is seeking paper and panel proposals for its fourth International North American Conference on Esotericism to be held at the University of California, Davis.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ibn Arabi & Rumi in NYC


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paul Colilli - The Angel's Corpse

The Angel's Corpse, Paul Colilli, 1999.

 Search text at amazon.

Colilli bases his work in very large measure on Corbin. Loaded with citations. I was unaware of his work. Thanks yet again to Hadi Fakhoury for the reference.

"With the great merit of Aristotle's Poetics, poetic logic became a theoretical activity endowed with a philosophical nature allowing it to be more philosophical than the pure representation of existence. Today, however, the theoretical status of poetic logic has been greatly demoted. The Angel's Corpse restores to poetic logic (or lyric philosophy) the cognitive and epistemological significance attributed to it by Aristotle. The Angel's corpse (the central metaphor in this restoration) is a sign-post beyond which there exists an uncharted terrain of human signification. This terrain is expressed in terms of lyric philosophy and its universal trait is a shocking into reawakening, which is linked to the dissolution of the repetitive logic of history. With this book, Colilli aims to bring to life the traits that are close to the Angel and which amount to a new philosophy of culture and interpretation. This philosophy is free from the ideological burden of previous systems, but pivots its cognito-epistemological premises on the idea of reawakening."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Le combat pour l'ange - Unpublished texts by Corbin

Le Combat pour l’Ange (Ricerche sulla filosofia mazdea) 
 di Henry Corbin

(In Italian)

 On Google Books

Le Combat pour l’Ange (ricerche sulla filosofia mazdea) è la traduzione italiana di un testo inedito di Henry Corbin, filosofo e orientalista tra i più importanti dello scorso secolo. L’opera, recentemente ritrovata fra le carte conservate nell’archivio dello studioso francese, è il frutto di uno studio dedicato alla figura di Zarathustra, nel corso del quale l’autore cerca di delineare con precisione i tempi e i luoghi della predicazione del profeta mazdeo, gli aspetti mistico-religiosi del suo messaggio di fede, e, infine, la diffusione e la rivalorizzazione della dottrina zoroastriana sia nell’ambito della spiritualità orientale, sia in quello della storia del pensiero occidentale. Non si tratta, però, di un’opera di sola erudizione; in essa, infatti, l’ampio numero di documenti testuali presi in considerazione viene interpretato a partire da un suggestivo metodo esegetico, che ha il merito di riportare alla luce i tesori spirituale tramandati e custoditi, nel corso dei secoli, negli scritti di questa antica e affascinante tradizione.

Raphael Ebgi, nato a Faenza nel 1984, si è laureato in Filosofia presso l’Università San Raffaele di Milano, dove sta ora ultimando il suo dottorato di ricerca in Metafisica. Allievo di Massimo Cacciari e Giulio Busi, i suoi studi si concentrano attorno al problema della rivalorizzazione filosofica del pensiero poetico-simbolico attuata in epoca rinascimentale. Tra i suoi lavori L’infinito intorno. Studio sul Sofista di Platone, Alboversorio, Milano 2007 e la curatela dell’edizione critica del De Ente et Uno di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Bompiani, Milano 2010.

Marco Giacalone, nato a Bergamo nel 1986, si è laureato in Filosofia presso l'Università Vita e Salute San Raffaele con una tesi sulla ‘scienza del mito’ in autori quali Schelling, Eliade, Kerényi e Jesi. Lavora attualmente alla tesi specialistica, presso l'Università di Torino, sulla Pancapadika, opera di Padmapada, allievo di Sankara, uno dei più grandi e noti filosofi e mistici del subcontinente. Ha trascorso due soggiorni di studio in India, a Thiravananthapuram, dove ha approfondito lo studio della lingua sanscrita e di alcune opere filosofiche nell’ambito dell’Advaita Vedanta. È codirettore della collana “Aevum viride” per le Edizioni Torre d’Ercole.

Prefazione di Raphael Ebgi 1
Nota bibliografica di Marco Giacalone 5
Avvertenza 9
Le Combat pour l'Ange
Premessa 13
Introduzione 15
Parte prima: La ierofania dello spazio
1. Incertezze geografiche 21
2. Topologia liturgica 25
Parte seconda: La ierofania del tempo
3. Il Tempo cosmogonico 31
4. Cronologia sacrale 38
5. Il “Giorno dell’Angelo” 42
Parte terza: Angelofanie zoroastriane
6. Le visioni al Centro del mondo 51
7. L’angelologia fondamentale 61
8. Le Annunciazioni 66
9. Le Combat pour l’Ange 78
Parte quarta: Il mistero zoroastriano 87
10. Magi e Dervisci 89
11. Ierogamie 96
12. Liturgia d’estasi 113
Parte quinta: Le esegesi delle ierofanie mazdee nell’Iran islamico 125
13. Ishrāqīyūn 126
14. Sciiti 127
15. Sufi 131
16. Il cavaliere spirituale 133
Indice dei nomi 143

Thanks to Hadi Fakhoury & Daniel Proulx for this !!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Additions to the Bibliography

Thanks to the excellent Hadi Fakhoury I have these citations which I should put in the bibliography sometime, but make available here in case I don't get to it. Many are new (to me) and a few I knew of seemed worth flagging again:

Baubérot, Arnaud. “La revue Hic et Nunc: Les jeunes-turcs du protestantisme et l'esprit des années trente.” Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire du protestantisme français 149 (2003): 569-589.

Bos, Matthijs van den. “Transnational Orientalism: Henry Corbin in Iran.” Anthropos 100, no. 1 (2005): 113-125.

Brun, Jean. “Un missionnaire protestant: Henry Corbin.” Revue d’histoire et de philosophie religieuses 59, no. 2 (1979): 187-200.

Fenton, Paul B.. “Henry Corbin and Abraham Heschel.” In Abraham Joshua Heschel: Philosophy, Theology and Interreligious Dialogue, edited by Stanisław Krajewski and Adam Lipszyc, 102-111. Jüdische Kultur, Bd. 21. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009.

Giuliano, Glauco. Il Pellegrinaggio in Oriente di Henry Corbin. Trento: La Finestra, 2003.

Hankey, Wayne J. One Hundred Years of Neoplatonism in France: A Brief Philosophical History. Published in a single volume with Levinas and the Greek Heritage, by Jean-Marc Narbonne. Leuven: Peeters, 2006. Online as pdf file.

Jambet, Christian. “Le Soufisme entre Louis Massignon et Henry Corbin.” In Consciousness and Reality: Studies in Memory of Toshihiko Izutsu, edited by Sayyid Jalāl al-Dīn Āshtiyānī, Hideichi Matsubara, Takashi Iwami, et al., 258-272. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

Mabille, Bernard. “L’absolution de l’absolu.” In L’Un et le multiple, Cahiers du Groupe d’Études Spirituelles Comparées No. 7, edited by Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron and Antoine Faivre, 9-24. Paris: Archè Edidit, 1999.

Moncelon, Jean. “Louis Massignon et Henry Corbin.” In Louis Massignon et ses contemporains, edited by Jacques Keryell, 201-219. Paris: Karthala, 1997.

Neuve-Eglise, Amélie. “Hermeneutics and the Unique Quest of Being: Henry Corbin’s Intellectual Journey.” Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies 2, no. 1 (2009): 3-26.

Pinto, Louis. “(Re)traductions: Phénoménologie et ‘philosophie allemande’ dans les années 1930.” Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 145 (2002): 21-33.

Roclave, Pierre. “Louis Massignon et Henry Corbin.” Luqmān 10 (1994): 73-86.

Schmidtke, Sabine, ed. Correspondance Corbin-Ivanow: Lettres échangées entre Henry Corbin et Vladimir Ivanow de 1947 à 1966. Paris: Peeters, 1999.

Stauffer, Richard. “Henry Corbin Théologien Protestant.” In Cahier de l’Herne: Henry Corbin, edited by Christian Jambet, 186-191. Paris: L’Herne, 1981.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mervin, Sabrina (Ed.). The Shia Worlds and Iran. London: Saqi, 2010

From Africa to Asia, there are areas that are home to minority and in some cases majority groups of Twelver Shia. Geography and history place Iran at the centre of these Shia worlds, but to what extent can we speak of an 'Iranian model' that these groups follow? This volume presents the Shi'a worlds in all their complexities and explores the tenuous relations between these groups and Iran. It also sheds light on little-known communities such as the Ironi Shi'a of Uzbekistan, and refines our understanding of groups studied more extensively like the Shia's in Iraq. Published in association with the Institut Francais du Proche-Orient.

AUTHOR BIO: Sabrina Mervin has been the co-director of the IISMM (Paris), from 2008 to January 2011 and is a senior researcher at the CNRS.