Creativity and Beyond

Cultures, Values, and Change

By Robert Paul Weiner

Subjects: Cultural Studies
Paperback : 9780791444788, 368 pages, April 2000
Hardcover : 9780791444771, 368 pages, April 2000

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations



Part One
The Formulation of the Concept of "Creativity" in Western History

Creativity, the West, and History

The Bible

Ancient Greece and Rome

Tradition and Imitation in the Medieval West

The Renaissance and the Invention of the Creative Ideal

The Enlightenment

Revolution, Modernity, and the Invention of Creativity

Creativity in the Contemporary Global Context

Part Two
Cross-Cultural Variables

The Ideology of Creativity in the United States

Conceptions of Creativity in "Traditional" and "Non-Western" Cultures

China: From Traditional Culture through Revolution to . . . ?

Part Three
Creativity in Practice

Everyday Obstacles to Creativity in Our Society

Creativity and Some Contemporary Policy Issues in the United States

Conclusion: Creativity and beyond




Explores how historical, artistic, and technological developments and cross-cultural exchange have altered our conceptions of creativity.


Creativity and Beyond offers a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary tour of cultures past and present to examine the different ways people have conceived of "creativity" and how the common understanding of creativity is changing in the current flux of global culture. Weiner analyzes the ways in which understanding creativity is tied to broader contemporary patterns, including intellectual concerns with postmodernism; trends in the arts; the changing status of women; the power of the electronic media; multiculturalism; developments in psychology, science, and technology; and the dramatic political, economic, and social transformations of our age.

Robert Paul Weiner has served as Coordinator of Liberal Studies at St. Mary's College of California, and Chair of Liberal Arts at John F. Kennedy University. He is currently a writer, teacher, and consultant on multiculturalism and creativity.


"…ambitious, fascinating, copiously referenced … highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries. " — Library Journal

"Not before the early modern epoch did we in the West start reflecting on our amazing creative potential, and seldom did our reflection venture beyond our own time and space. In this book Robert Paul Weiner takes us on a tour to our past (biblical as well as classical) and to the civilizations that surround us, showing the presence of a creative drive in even the most ancient and traditional ones. We emerge from it with new insight, yet also with new wonder for the mystery of being human. " — Louis Dupré, Yale University

"We are a culture built on and obsessed with creativity; it is very important that books like this explore creativity, and this one does so from a novel point of view. " — Louallen Miller, Sonoma State University

"The author considers creativity from a myriad of viewpoints and over a long period of time. He injects fascinating examples, vignettes, and hypotheses. I have been interested in creativity for many years and I have never seen the topic treated as coherently and as completely as Robert Weiner does in this book. I found the book fascinating. " — James L. Adams, author of Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas and The Care and Feeding of Ideas: A Guide to Encouraging Creativity