Cover image for Creativity & beyond : cultures, values, and change
Creativity & beyond : cultures, values, and change
Weiner, Robert, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Albany, NY : State University of New York Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 353 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF408 .W384 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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

Author Notes

Robert Paul Weiner is a writer, teacher, and consultant on multiculturalism and creativity.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In this ambitious, fascinating, copiously referenced work, Weiner (John F. Kennedy Univ.) traces the interpretation and application of the terms create and creativity as they have evolved in the Western world over the centuries. Enriching this sweeping historical perspective, which begins with prebiblical gods and creation myths, is the discussion of the meanings and roles of creativity in the uniquely structured American environment and comparisons with Chinese, "traditional," and some other "non-Western" cultures. Weiner also explores the personal and cultural obstacles to creativity and the shifting tensions between the new and the established, and he emphasizes how, in the emerging global culture, the definitions and values of creativity are changing. This stimulating treatise, based on a compendium of history, philosophies, and trends culled from a wealth of disciplines, is highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.--Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

From the title one can sense the ambition of this project. Weiner attempts the study of the "global" conception of creativity in the arts, intellectual concerns, postmodernism, status of women, electronic media, multiculturalism, as well as in developments and changes in psychology, science, technology, politics, economics, and social structures. He states that the primary task of his work is to examine the cross-cultural differences and continuing historical evolution of society's conception of creativity; the second goal is to examine ideas about creativity and how creativity is limited by material conditions and opposing values. Weiner understands creativity to be the bringing of something "new" into society and holds that it is a major value. He points out that the term did not exist before 1870 and was not in common use until the 1950s. In order to understand, he goes back to the Bible, ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods, and modernity and non-Western cultures. The flaw of this work is indeed its scope. In order to achieve his task Weiner both simplifies unmercifully and sees all of his subject with his own idiosyncratic focus. What results is a personal testament instead of a well-documented and thorough study. Recommended as a general introduction only. L. L. Lam-Easton; California State University, Northridge

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 The Formulation of the Concept of "Creativity" in Western History
1 Creativity, the West, and Historyp. 17
2 The Biblep. 25
3 Ancient Greece and Romep. 33
4 Tradition and Imitation in the Medieval Westp. 43
5 The Renaissance and the Invention of the Creative Idealp. 53
6 The Enlightenmentp. 65
7 Revolution, Modernity, and the Invention of Creativityp. 75
8 Creativity in the Contemporary Global Contextp. 97
Part 2 Cross-Cultural Variables
9 The Ideology of Creativity in the United Statesp. 125
10 Conceptions of Creativity in "Traditional" and "Non-Western" Culturesp. 143
11 China: From Traditional Culture through Revolution to ...?p. 173
Part 3 Creativity in Practice
12 Everyday Obstacles to Creativity in Our Societyp. 205
13 Creativity and Some Contemporary Policy Issues in the United Statesp. 237
Conclusion: Creativity and Beyondp. 253
Notesp. 271
Referencesp. 305
Indexp. 331