"...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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

ASE 2012 Conference Schedule

Esotericism, Religion, and Culture
University of California, Davis
July 19th-22nd 2012
Gnosticism in Philip K. Dick & much much more...
full schedule HERE

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On Materialism

In Sufism, matter is precious because it stands, it “thinks,” silently it traces everything. Consequently, while in “materialist” philosophy matter can be considered distant from metaphysics, in Sufism it is mysticism itself; matter is its secret identity. - Murat Efe Balikçioglu  

from “Godless Sufism,” as the Structure of Matter in the Turkish Poetry of Our Day in  Eda: A Contemporary Anthology of 20th Century Turkish Poetry edited by Murat Nemet-Nejat.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

La mystique amoureuse mazdéenne par Henry Corbin

Henry Corbin évoque la mystique amoureuse mazdéenne et la figure centrale du fravarti dans cet extrait d'une radiodiffusion de 1959.
Thanks to Aymeric Chaïb for bringing this to our attention.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Modern Gnostic

Philip K. Dick, Sci-Fi Philosopher, Part 3

This is a clear and incisive essay on the meaning and the dangers of a certain kind of Gnosticism, elements of which are clearly displayed in the contemporary world, perhaps particularly in the US. Thinking about these issues seems to me to be of some importance when considering the significance of Corbin's work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Astrology in Time & Place


Time And Place LogoAstrology in Time and Place
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2012
BRSLI, 16-19 Queen Square, Bath

Astrology in Time and Place

Saturday 23-Sunday 24 June 2012
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, 16-19 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
£45 one day / £65 both days
Sponsored jointly by The Sophia Centre, Culture and Cosmos and the Sophia Centre Press



8.30     Registration and Refreshments

9.20     Welcome

9.30     Bernadette Brady (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)
Aristotle's idea of 'place' within contemporary astrology

10.00               Gustav-Adolf Schoener (Leibniz University of Hanover)
The Difference between Methods of Natural Sciences and Methods of Religious Studies on Modern Astrology.

10.30   Johann Hasler (Departamento de Música, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia)
The sounding zodiacs in Western musical theory: an overview of proposals for musical interpretation of astrological data from Ptolemy to the late 20th century


11.30   Charles Burnett
(Professor of the History of Islamic Influences at the Warburg Institute of the University of London)
Johannes Borotin as student and teacher of the science of the stars in fifteenth-century Prague


2.00     David Pankenier(Department of Modern Languages & Literature, Lehigh University)
On Chinese Astrology's Impermeability to Western Influences

3.00     Kristina Buhrman (University of Southern California)
Ptolemy and Sima Qian in 11thCentury Japan: Combining Disparate Astrologies in Practice


4.00     Ulla Koch (Carsten Niebuhr Institute, University of Copenhagen)
The Meaning of Time: Calendar Divination

4.30     Michael Grofe (Maya Exploration Centre)
Eternity in an Hour: the astronomical symbolism of the Era as the Maya agricultural year

5.00     Christel Mattheeuws (Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen)
The Journey of Calendars, Wind and Life in the Indian Ocean



9.30     Micah Ross and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum (Kyōto Sangyō University; University of Wales Trinity Saint David)
Various renderings of pinax in Greek and Demotic in the Medînet Mâdi ostraca

10.00   Helen R. Jacobus (University College London)
The Zodiac Calendar in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q318) in relation to Babylonian Horoscopes

10.30   David W. Kim (University of Edinburgh)
A Sethian Iconography: The Astrology of Tchacos Judas:


11.30   Micah Ross (Kyōto Sangyō University)
A Study in the Early Iconography of Gemini

12.00   Matthew Kosuta (College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand)
The relationship between Theravada Buddhism and astrology with an emphasis on the modern period and Thailand.

12.30   LUNCH

2.00     Mario Friscia (University of La Sapienza, Rome)
Astrology and its ritual applications: Propitiation of the planet Saturn within the Sun temple at Suriyanar Koyil (Tamil Nadu, India). A case-study from contemporary Tamil Shaivism

2.30     Audrius Benorius (Director of the Center of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania)
Transformations of the Social and Religious Status of the Indian Astrologer at the Royal Court

3.00     Michael York (Former Professor of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Bath Spa University)
Religion versus Science: Science versus Religion: Whither Astrology: Whithersoever?

4.00     CLOSE

Nick Campion
Sophia Centre

Friday, May 18, 2012

First English Editions

If I were a rich man I would have these rarities.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Persian Poets Tour - 2012 (UK)

Our Persian Poets' Tour features the poetry of five acclaimed poets from three Persian-speaking countries - Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan - in a series of readings and events across the UK alongside their British poet co-translators Jo Shapcott, Nick Laird, Maura Dooley, Mimi Khalvati and Sarah Maguire.
The poets taking part include the London-based Afghan poet, Reza Mohammadi (translated by Nick Laird), as well as two poets new to the PTC, Azita Ghahreman (translated by Maura Dooley) from Iran and Shakila Azizzada (translated by Mimi Khalvati) from Afghanistan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The New Galleries for the Department of Islamic Art in Focus

Encounter the exquisite world of religious painting from the fourteenth century to the present day and hear classical music from Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad. Presented with the opening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia.

The Praiseworthy One: Devotional Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Traditions Christiane Gruber, associate professor of Islamic Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

A Performance by Alwan Arab Music Ensemble

This program is generously supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Discoveries Part 2: Scripts & Scribes

New Research on the Collections of the Department of Islamic Art 
at the Metropolitan Museum

This two-day symposium celebrates the reopening of the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia. Internationally renowned scholars and curators present recent scholarship in themed sessions.

Part II: Day 1, Afternoon Session, Scripts and Scribes

A Little-Known Collection of Early Qur'anic Fragments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Alain George, University of Edinburgh

An Illuminated Book of Prayers by Ahmad Nairizi
Maryam Ekhtiar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Inscribed Early Islamic "Tiraz" Textiles as Historical Documents: A Silk Textile from Nishapur in the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jochen A. Sokoly, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

This symposium is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Research on the Collections of the Department of Islamic Art

New Research on the Collections of the Department of Islamic Art 
at the Metropolitan Museum

This two-day symposium celebrates the reopening of the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia. Internationally renowned scholars and curators present recent scholarship in themed sessions.

Part I: Day 1, Morning Session

Keynote Address
Renata Holod, University of Pennsylvania
Book Arts of Iran and India

New Thoughts on New Acquisitions from the Welch Collection
Navina Najat Haidar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thoughts on Some Safavid Works on Paper
Sheila Canby, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Literary History and Popular Mythology in a Fifteenth-Century Persian Manuscript
Priscilla P. Soucek, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

This symposium is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Corbin tried to restore spirituality for western life

More on the Persian translation of En Islam Iranien from the Iran Book News Agency:

Corbin tried to restore spirituality for western life

4 May 2012 13:12
The second volume of Henry Corbin’s “Iranian Islam” converted into Persian by Reza Kouhkan was unveiled.
IBNA: The second volume of Henry Corbin’s “Iranian Islam” was unveiled with the presence of translator Reza Kouhkan, and editor Shahin Aavani.

At the beginning of the session, Aavani termed the book criteria for understanding the nature of research and methodology disregarding its specialized content. “All works of Corbin, especially this four-volume book are considered as a touchstone for international research. In this work he has made a research map according to which he proceeds. Bibliography and order dominate this collection and Corbin has referred to sources that are available only in manuscript forms,” she said.

She went on to highlight the role of Stella Leenhardt Corbin, the wife of the French Orientalist and added: “Perhaps he could not have achieved all these without the help of his wife and this should make a model for al researchers.”

Aavani added: “Corbin spent 20 whole years on compiling this collection and meantime he got access to sources that are of high value to Islamic philosophy researchers. The period extending from Mirdamad to Mirfendreski is the most unknown to us. By studying this period and introducing sources for that led to the compilation of five volumes of research by late Ashtiani.”

Considering the fact that most of our translations are made from English, translating such a deep and scholastic text from original French is a valuable endeavor, she added.

She added: “Corbin had intended the book for western audiences and therefore, he presented a critique of western thought here and there in the books. When translating the work, Kouhkan has completed the approach by offering necessary notes in the footnotes.”

Then Kouhkan presented an introduction to the book: “The French title of the book is ‘islam Iranien’ meaning ‘Iranian Islam’. But it has ethnic connotations that are not true. Therefore, I have retitled it in Persian as ‘Islam in the Land of Iran’.”

He continued: “Corbin is an orientalist and yet he is not. He was devoted to the orient and oriental Illuminationism and this book reveals a lot about and Shiism. Although Suhrevardi seemingly separated Illuminationism from Shiism, Corbin believes that Shiite beliefs dominate over it and that is why it has spread throughout the Shia world.”

Kouhkan regarded Corbin as a great elucidator and added: “Therefore I tried not to interfere with his method and remained loyal to his style in my Persian translation. In very few cases when Corbin addresses a western concept, I tried to add margins to the book to make it clear for Iranian audiences.”

“I believe that a translation is different than an elucidation. Unfortunately some translators tend to add notes to the original books arguing with the writer’s opinions. Avoiding this, I have tried to reflect the text to the readers as it is and therefore it should be regarded as a loyal translation,” he added.

Kouhkan went on to remark that Corbin’s research is scientific in the sense that he seeks the truth in his research. Spirituality is the gravity point of Corbin’s works. He tries to introduce a type of spirituality to western audiences that is already lost in their lives.”

He finally mentioned that in order to find the most appropriate equivalents in Persian, he has studied the etymology of the terms in Latin and Greek.

Henry Corbin’s “Iranian Islam” was unveiled last week at the central building of Fars Literary Agency with the presence of Reza Kouhkan and Shahin Aavani.

Temenos Academy (London) May Newsletter


May 2012

On 14 May at 7pm at the Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1, Guy Ogilvy will give a lecture entitled Alchemy & Colour. He will speak about the symbolic significance of colour in alchemy, and the production of traditional pigments following alchemical processes and principles.
Admission £5 or £3.50.
On Saturday 19 May at Rewley House in Oxford, Temenos Academy lecturers Julia Cleave, Jill Line, Joseph Milne and Valerie Rees, will present the study day New Light on the Renaissance, an event organised in collaboration with the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. The Chair for the day will be Grevel Lindop.
For further information and bookings please contact Rewley House:
Tel. 01865 270368
Email ppdayweek@conted.ox.ac.uk
Website www.conted.ox.ac.uk

* * *
BBC World Service Radio will be presenting a programme on Kahlil Gibran presented by Ian Skelly (Chairman of the Temenos Academy) and featuring Prof. Suheil Bushrui (Fellow). The Man Behind the Prophet will be broadcast in the ‘Heart and Soul’ series at different times between the 4th and 7th of May. For further information please go to the ‘Heart and Soul’ website of the BBC World Service
Temenos Academy Fellow Wendell Berry’s lecture for the USA National Endowment for the Humanities, ‘It All Turns on Affection’, is available to read here
* * *
Your attention is drawn to the Temenos Academy Audio Archive on the Temenos Academy website
* * *
Further information about the Temenos Academy is available on our website or by telephoning 01233 813663.

The latest full programme of lectures and events is now available at:
A booking form is also available on that page
Further information and reservations
The Temenos Academy, P O Box 203, Ashford, Kent TN25 5ZT
Tel. 01233 813663 email: temenosacademy@myfastmail.com

The Temenos Academy is a Registered Charity