Monday, August 3, 2009

what history are they studying???

Church as Art. Church as Community. Church as Transformation.

Culturally, few of us are immune to the lack of creativity that dominates Western culture for the last 250 years.

What lack of creativity?

Seriously, let's take a look at some of the names of people from the last 250 or so years who have been in Western culture, then tell me we've suffered from a lack of creativity.

Beethover, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Brahms, Stavinsky, Berg, Louis Armstrong, Bill Monroe, The Beetles, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Williams

Poetry and writing:
Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Doyle, Twain, Pushkin, Dumas, Hugo, Chesterton, Lewis, Welles, Browning, Tolkien

Mondrian, Picasso, Munch, Monet, Arbus, Adams, Warhol.

And I know this list if far form exhaustive. I'd probably feel shame for how names I'm forgetting at the moment. Some I can think of, though their names escape me at the moment.

Even in the sciences, I would dare say that creative thinking was important (whether good or not is another thing; one need only think of the fiction that is evolution, and the fictions that were built up around it, many of whom have been proven false, to see how that has gone). But I don't think that the ability to put a flying machine into the air, or create a light bulb, or put a rocket into space or a satellite into orbit, were exercises completely devoid of creative thinking.

So, no, I don't think it can be said that we suffer from a lack of creativity over the past 250 or so years. If anything, the changes that have been brought to Western culture from the inside over those years tells us that there has been no shortage of creativity. Our music is so different that it probably wouldn't be recongnizable to anyone from 250 years ago, as is much of our art (though how much is superior to the old is a question I fear would not be answered in our favor; after all, 'creative' doesn't necessarily mean 'good').

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