The spirit of Iran by famous French writer Henry Corbin




If you want to talk about Iran without dealing with religion, it will get complicated. But speaking about religion without being banned the target of everybody’s opinion is even more complex. And complexity was Henry Corbin’s speciality (1903-1978), as the most famous French writer on the Iranian Shi’a Islam, and is the necessary first step for those who want to understand the soul of the country.

Corbin enabled the West to discover lots of shi’a thinkers and mystics, and shown the originality of Iranian Islam. Erudite, as a complete arabic and Persian speaker, Corbin became famous among the specialist during the 30’s translating in French the philosopher Heidegger. Throughout this art of translation he offered to Western readers forgotten authors but also manuscripts hidden to the common world.

But before all, he was a true lover of Iran, a lover who spent long years in the country, from whom he tried to give us the deep essence, by extraying the physical link between Iranian shi’a, old Persian mythologies and of course, Zoroastrianism.

An important bridge over two worlds.


Henry Corbin, En islam iranien: aspects spirituels et philosophiques, 2e éd., Gallimard, 1978, 4 vol. (12 euros par tome, édition Poche « Tel » Gallimard)