Journée Henry Corbin 2021
7 octobre 2021
Armelle Dutruc, Des profondeurs de l’être – Marie-Magdeleine Davy
14 mars 2022
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Henry Corbin’s Oriental Philosophy and Iranian Nativist Ideologies

Ahmad Bostani

Henry Corbin’s Oriental Philosophy and Iranian Nativist Ideologies

Religions 202112(11), 997

Published: 14 November 2021

Ahmad Bostani

Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Kharazmi University, Tehran 1571914911, Iran; [email protected]


This paper aims to explore the roots of the nativist discourse among Iranian intellectuals in the 20th century prior to the Islamic Revolution, a discourse based on Eastern authenticity and the felt need for a return to Islamic, Persian, or Asian traditions. This general tendency took various forms among anti- and even pro-regime intellectuals, including severe anti-modernist evaluations of Al-e-Ahmad, Hossein Nasr, Ahmad Fardid, and Ehsan Naraqi. This nativist movement, as some scholars have shown, played a significant role in the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. This paper aims to discuss some philosophical origins of these East-based and anti-West ideologies in the specific interpretation of Henry Corbin of the East/West spiritual split. This paper demonstrates that these ideas, to a considerable extent, stemmed from Corbin’s “Eastern scheme,” based on the authenticity of spiritual illumination. This paper explores how this Oriental philosophy, rooted in ancient Persia and medieval Iranian wisdom, has been used for political purposes through the ideologization of tradition in contemporary Iran. Therefore, it discusses Corbin’s theological scheme’s political and social ramifications to demonstrate the traces of his scheme in the works of a few nativist intellectuals in an ideologized form.

Keywords: nativism; authenticity; Oriental philosophy; Persian identity; Henry Corbin


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