Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture and Spring Journal Books
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After Prophecy
Imagination, Incarnation, and the Unity of the Prophetic Tradition (Lectures for the Temenos Academy)

by Tom Cheetham

ISBN: 978-1-882670-81-9
183 pp.

From the Studies in Archetypal Psychology Series, Editor: Greg Mogenson

The final volume in a trilogy of works which explore the implications of the spiritual vision of Henry Corbin (1903-1978). Corbin was one of the 20th century's premier scholars of Islamic mysticism. He was a colleague of C. G. Jung and a major figure at the Eranos Conferences. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought and his work has provided much of the intellectual foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman. But Corbin's underlying theological and philosophical project was to provide a framework for understanding the hidden unity of the religions of the monotheistic tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His profound grasp of the phenomenology of the religious imagination and his uniquely ecumenical approach make his work essential reading in a complex and pluralistic age.


"Cheetham's passion for the material carries the reader into an ever-deepening appreciation of the tremendous importance of Henry Corbin for the re-valuation of vision and imagination. Arabic and Persian parallels and arguments with Western thinkers, including Levinas, Illich, and Jung, are set forth clearly and fairly. It seems to me a faultless book."
- James Hillman

"These are times that hunger for the wisdom of the prophets; but we have forgotten how to listen to their voices. It is Tom Cheetham's gift to make the worlds of vision accessible to us again. He does this with learning, eloquence, wonder, and a sincere and compassionate humility, which reaches out to each of us in the name of the Angel."
- John Carey, Editor, Temenos Academy Review

"With great talent, Tom Cheetham shows how Henry Corbin's deep spirituality has the power to eliminate our "spiritual neediness", because it gives us what we are truly looking for: a non-literal god, a god that does not even ask to be called "God" (or "Goddess"), one that is the World, not beyond it. Cheetham's book should be required reading for all believers. He provides an understanding of our deepest longing, an alternative to the neurotic God complex that is tearing humanity apart. This book offers a much needed balm for the wounds of the collective psyche. As an atheist who feels the divine beauty of this world, I can only applaud Tom Cheetham's reading of Corbin, who replaces belief in God with a profound capacity to perceive the harmony of the sensate world."
- Ginette Paris, Author, The Wisdom of the Psyche (2007)

"Henry Corbin was one of the most profound and original thinkers of the 20th century and without any doubt one of the most undersung-if not misunderstood and spurned-scholars of our age. This is largely owing to the fact that he chose to express his compelling and sometimes daunting meditations through the history and categories of esoteric Islamic thought. This book will be celebrated by all who have known this but somehow felt powerless to change the situation. Cheetham's lucid and profound reading of Corbin, his patient, knowing, sincerely humble voice, will serve to commend and demystify the timeless yet urgent message of his subject. His labor has produced marvelously accessible and true descriptions touching the essence of Corbin's work. In the context of this beautifully written and deeply illumined study, Cheetham's language never sounds facile, glib, or clever. Anyone who is interested in anything must read this book."
- Todd Lawson, Professor of Islamic Thought, University of Toronto

"This is a work that deepens our appreciation of Corbin and his passion for the natural world. Cheetham enhances Corbin's poetic analysis with his own aesthetic narrative, creating a synthesis that embodies the very ideals he seeks to interpret. With a deepening gaze, Cheetham explores the creative role of the imagination in the formative ground of Western religious traditions. According to Corbin, engaging the soul of the world through the mediating power of the Imaginal is an act of love. Cheetham explores this theme fully through his analysis of mystical poverty, comtemplative knowledge, the luminosity of the earth, the theophanic vision, the Christ Angel, the divine sensorium, alchemical transformation, the spiritual humanism of Ivan Illich, Western iconoclasm, and the centrality of all gnosis, allin the service of individual awakening to spiritual responsibility. This book offers a visionary alternative to the confusions of contemporary life while also celebrating the creative capacity of soul to engage the world with hope."
- Lee Irwin, Chair, Department of Religious Studies, College of Charleston, SC

About the author:
TOM CHEETHAM, Ph.D., lives with his family in rural Maine. He is a Fellow of the Temenos Academy in London, and is Adjunct Professor at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine and Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. Other books by the author are Green Man, Earth Angel: The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World and The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism. His website is http://tomcheetham.blogspot.com/.