"...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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Color, Symbolism, and the Mystic Quest

from the 2009

Color, Symbolism, and the Mystic Quest: 
the Spiritual Exegesis of Color in Sufism in the Works of Henry Corbin
Samir Mahmoud

This paper is an attempt to elucidate one aspect of the phenomenology of color in Islam, namely that found in the works of some mystics. To achieve this it will draw on various mystical commentaries on those Quranic verses that explicitly refer to color. Particular reference will be made to the Sufi commentaries. It will then explore how some of these verses and the nature of color were discussed by Sufis like Najumddin Kubra and `Alludawlah Simnani in their phenomenology of colors. Particular attention will be paid to Henry Corbin’s groundbreaking work on these authors in his The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism and other essays where he elucidates the supra-sensory modes of perception associated with mystic perception and where he explores parallels between these Sufis and Goethe’s Farbenlehre. Some of the questions that will be asked are: What are the implications of these theories of color photisms on our scientific theories of light and color? What can they reveal about the nature of reality? Can the theories of the Sufis on color symbolism as revealing the various states of the mystic quest reveal anything about color in Islamic art? It is not our intention to resolve the problem in this paper but to contribute to the debate. The paper is intended as an introduction to the topic and will rehearse many of the arguments put forward by Henry Corbin with the intention of placing his work on color theory back in the limelight after years of neglect.


and also see the book from the Symposium:

No comments:

Post a Comment