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Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a visionary Protestant theologian and a ground-breaking scholar and translator of Islamic mysticism. His understanding of the Imagination as the fundamental creative principle in the world is urgently needed in our pluralistic and interconnected global society. Corbin taught in Paris and Tehran and lectured annually at the Eranos Conferences from 1949 to 1978. He was a friend and colleague of C.G. Jung and shared his view of the significance of the active imagination in human life as well as his profound grasp of the importance of alchemy for religious psychology.
Corbin's works have had a lasting impact on a wide variety of scholars of religion, visionary thinkers and artists. James Hillman ranked Corbin, Freud and Jung together as the foundational figures in the development of archetypal psychology. Corbin's great book 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 great monotheisms. His life was devoted to the struggle to liberate the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of religious diversity and makes a profound contribution to psychology, spirituality and liberal theology in the contemporary world.
Dr. Cheetham will present on Corbin's work and the links with Jungian psychology, and have a conversation with Dr. Michael Lerner on aspects of this topic.
Tom Cheetham, Ph.D, holds degrees in philosophy and biology. He is the author of four books on Henry Corbin and the implications of his work for our understanding of ourselves and the world. The most recent is All the World an Icon: Henry Corbin and the Angelic Function of Beings. He compiled the Bibliography of Archetypal Psychology for James Hillman's Archetypal Psychology: A Brief Account and is editing On Melancholy, a collection of Hillman's seminars on the meaning of depression in modern society. He has lectured extensively on Corbin's work in Europe and the US. He and his wife have two grown children and live in rural Maine.
Michael Lerner, Ph.D, is president and co-founder of Commonweal in Bolinas, California, whose internationally recogized programs, with their focus on healing and resilience, address health, environmental, educational and justice issues worldwide. The recipient of a McArthur Prize Fellowship for his contributions to public health, Lerner is president of the Jennifer Altman Foundation and the Barbara Smith Fund; co-founder and chair of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C.; past chair of the Consultative Group on Biodiversity; co-founder and chair emeritus of the Health and Environmental Funders Network; and serves on the boards of Global Greengrants in Boulder and the Wildflowers Institute in San Francisco. He is the author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer.