"...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, September 13, 2023

Phenomenology and Historicism in the Study of Islamic Philosophy: The Significance of Corbin’s Approach

Phenomenology and Historicism in the Study of Islamic Philosophy: The Significance of Corbin’s Approach 

Zane Leach

Bachelor Global & Comparative Philosophy

Abstract:This essay concerns the significance of Henry Corbin’s methodology for the ‘Western’ study of Islamic philosophy and its relevance for the revival of traditional metaphysics in postmodernity. This methodology established itself as an alternative to the traditional scholastic and modern colonial approaches to the study of Islamic philosophy. Under the influence of Heidegger, Corbin developed a methodology wherein the inadequacies of modern historicism could be consummated into a reassessment of traditional metaphysics. The aim of this essay is to articulate the foundations and demonstrate the justifiability of Corbin’s approach. This is done for the purpose of elucidating how the metaphysics of Corbin and the Islamic Platonism from which he draws can contribute to the revitalization of contemporary Western philosophy. This essay thus constitutes an exploration of the problem of returning to traditional metaphysics through phenomenological hermeneutics and a corresponding mysticism.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Henry Corbin & the Arts... continued: Jarvis Brookfield

From Creative Boom

Psychedelic painter Jarvis Brookfield likes to delve deep into our psyches with his groundbreaking work; his latest exhibition is no exception. As he highlighted in our exclusive interview a while back, Jarvis's art is a celebration of the boundless nature of the imagination.

His new collection draws inspiration from Henry Corbin's essay The Mundus Imaginalis and delves into the concept of a "place of images in suspense," which exists between spiritual realms and the sensory world: a 'place' that's as ontologically real as the world we perceive.