Author

Henry Corbin

French philosopher and orientalist

1903   -   1978

country of citizenship: France
language of expression: French
educated at: Faculty of Arts of Paris, Institut Catholique de Paris
occupation: translator, historian, philosopher, writer, orientalist, professor
influenced by: Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi

Henry Corbin (14 April 1903 – 7 October 1978) was a philosopher, theologian, Iranologist and professor of Islamic Studies at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris, France. Corbin was born in Paris in April 1903. Although he was Protestant by birth, he was educated in the Catholic tradition and at the age of 19 received a certificate in Scholastic philosophy from the Catholic Institute of Paris. Three years later he took his "licence de philosophie" under the Thomist Étienne Gilson. In 1928 he encountered Louis Massignon, director of Islamic studies at the Sorbonne, and it was he who introduced Corbin to the writings of Suhrawardi, the 12th century Persian mystic and philosopher whose work was to profoundly affect the course of Corbin's life. Years later Corbin said "through my meeting with Suhrawardi, my spiritual destiny for the passage through this world was sealed. Platonism, expressed in terms of the Zoroastrian angelology of ancient Persia, illuminated the path that I was seeking." Corbin is responsible for redirecting the study of Islamic philosophy as a whole. In his Histoire de la philosophie islamique (1964), he disproved in his research the common view that philosophy among the Muslims came to an end after Ibn Rushd.
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