"...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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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

New Manichaean Studies Volume

Part III: Pages 343-442 (Chapters 321-347) 
Iain Gardner, Jason D. Beduhn & Paul Dilley. 2018. 
(Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 92). 
Leiden: Brill.

The Chapters of the Wisdom of My Lord Mani, a Coptic papyrus codex preserved at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, describes Mani’s mission, teachings and debates with sages in the courts of the Sasanian empire during the reign of Shapur I; with an extended account of his last days and death under Bahram I. The text offers an unprecedented new source for the history of religions in Late Antiquity, including interactions of Manichaean, Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist traditions in Iran, remarkably transmitted into the Mediterranean world as part of Manichaean missionary literature. This is the first of four fascicles constituting the editio princeps, based on enhanced digital and multispectral imaging and extended autoptic study of the manuscript.

Jason BeDuhn, Ph.D. (1995), Indiana University, is Professor of the Comparative Study of Religions at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of The Manichaean Body (Baltimore, 2000) and Augustine’s Manichaean Dilemma (Philadelphia, 2010/2013).

Paul C. Dilley, Ph.D. (2008), Yale University, is Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Monasteries and the Care of Souls in Late Antique Christianity: Cognition and Discipline (Cambridge, 2017).

Iain Gardner, Ph.D. (1983), University of Manchester, is Professor of the History of Religions at Sydney University. He has published widely on Manichaean studies, and edited many original papyri in Coptic, notably on behalf of the Dakhleh Oasis Project.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Interesting use of Corbin...

Louise Livingstone

There is still much to be done to motivate people to actively engage in issues related to sustainability (ICCiP). While it may seem obvious that thinking about the world in a different way creates the possibility of arriving at new awareness, this paper suggests that such a seemingly ordinary observation shines the light directly on a major obstacle to engagement with sustainability. More broadly, this paper demonstrates the importance of the humanities in helping to understand how human beings make meaning in the world (Kripal 2014) linking directly to issues of sustainability in terms of how people connect with each other and the world at large. Taking an imaginal approach, and honouring a metaphorical mode of investigation (Voss 2009), this paper positions the heart as an organ of perception able to comfortably move between different ways of engaging with the world. Using the metaphor of epistemological duality with reference to cultural history (McGilchrist 2009; Bound Alberti 2010) as a guide, this paper moves to explore two important ideas; first how a taken-for-granted, epistemological approach towards the world (McGilchrist 2009) could be creating barriers to engage effectively with sustainability, and second, how the separation of body from mind, and heart from brain, when taken as a metaphor, could further guide this understanding. This paper moves towards the suggestion that when re-considered as an organ of perception (Corbin 1971; Hillman 2007), the heart has a key role to play in guiding people towards different ways of understanding, and subsequently engaging with sustainability.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Leonard Lewisohn 1953-2018

I'm very saddened to report that Dr. Leonard Lewisohn died suddenly on August 6, 2018.

Dr Leonard Lewisohn
Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter,
 Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow in Persian and Sufi Literaure


The staff and students of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, are very sad to announce that, on Monday 6 August 2018, our colleague and friend Dr. Leonard Lewisohn passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. It's a great shock to all of us. Our hearts go out to his wife, his family and his wide network of friends and colleagues.

Lenny was Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Persian and Sufi literature. We will soon make an announcement about more specific initiatives for commemorating him. But, for the moment, our thoughts and prayers are with his close family and the many people worldwide who loved him.

Christine Robins

Director, IAIS

Leonard was the co-director (with Dr. Michael Axworthy) of the Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies.

He was also the Editor of the Mawlana Rumi Review.

In April 2016, he organised with Dr. Reza Tabandeh a three-day international conference on "Sufis and Mullahs: Sufis and Their Opponents in the Persianate World.”

Dr. Leonard Lewisohn was Senior Lecturer in Persian and Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow in Classical Persian and Sufi Literature at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of the University of Exeter in England where he taught Islamic Studies, Sufism, history of Iran, as well as courses on Persian texts and Persian poetry in translation. He specialized in translation of Persian Sufi poetic and prose texts.

He is the author of Beyond Faith and Infidelity: The Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari (London: 1995), and the editor of three volumes on The Heritage of Sufism, vol. 1: The Legacy of Mediæval Persian Sufism, vol. 2: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi, vol. 3 (with David Morgan): Late Classical Persianate Sufism: the Safavid and Mughal Period (Oxford: 1999)—covering a millennium of Islamic history.

He was editor of the Mawlana Rumi Review, an annual journal devoted to Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273). He was also editor (with Christopher Shackle) of The Art of Spiritual Flight: Farid al-Din ‘Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition (London: I.B. Tauris 2006), co-translator with Robert Bly of The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafiz (New York: HarperCollins 2008), editor of Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry (London: I.B. Tauris 2010), and editor of The Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition (Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom 2014), and co-editor (with Reza Tabandeh) of Sufis and Mullahs: Sufis and their Opponents in the Persianate World (forthcoming 2018).

Dr. Lewisohn contributed articles to the Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Encyclopedia of Islam(2nd and 3rd editions), Encyclopædia Iranica, Encyclopædia of Philosophy, 2nd Edition, Encyclopædia of Religion, 2nd Edition, Iran Nameh, Iranian Studies, African Affairs, Islamic Culture, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Temenos Academy Review.

Monday, August 6, 2018



Association des Amis de Henry et Stella Corbin

Assemblée Générale du lundi 24 juin 2018

à 18h

à l’EPHE, 54 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris

Ordre du jour :

-       Bilan d’activité
-       Bilan financier
-       Programme de la journée annuelle Henry Corbin prévue le samedi 24 novembre 2018 à l’EPHE sur "Le rêve"
-       Questions diverses