The C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco

Imagination and the Science of the Heart
Henry Corbin and the Visionary Recital

Tom Cheetham

A Program for 
The C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco
April 12 & 13, 2013


Friday night - "Your Autonomy is a Fiction": Listening for the Voices of Angels
Saturday - The Bounds of Imagination: Every Heaven a Prison
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. His 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.

An illustrated Friday evening lecture and a Saturday workshop will introduce Corbin’s life and work and place the major themes of his thought in the context of the contemporary world. Comparisons will be drawn with the writings of Jung and Hillman. Topics include the mundus imaginalis and the meaning of creative and active imagination, idols and icons, spiritual alchemy, divine and human love, the poetic basis of the mind, and the role of the Angel Holy Spirit in the life of the soul.

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 (2012, North Atlantic Books). 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.
The Jung Institute of San Francisco is accredited by the Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Jung Institute of San Francisco takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity. 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ are offered for this event.