The Dawning of the New Creative Era: are you ready?

Continuing my thinking through my upcoming presentation on “Understanding and Engaging in today’s world.”  I invite you to check out the first post in the series:  Postmodernism is Dead.

ImageTo help get our minds around the new Creative Era we’ve moved into, it might be helpful to contrast a Modernist mindset, a Postmodernist mindset, and a Creative Era mindset.  I know I’m drawing with a mighty fat pencil here, but this chart presents some the contrasts I perceive among the various eras.

Trait

Modernism

Postmodernism

Creative Era

Identity

Determined by Genetics, Sociology, Politics

Constructed by yourself to break free of Modernist constraints

Constructed by yourself to express your passions and your talents

Knowledge

Empirically grounded in verifiable truth

Socially Constructed; empirical statements are suspect.

Experiential

Attitude

Confident Optimism

Ironic Detachment

Hopeful Optimism.

Community

Overarching Middlebrow culture ties subcultures together

Join a tribe that subverts, rebels against, or otherwise rejects the overarching middlebrow culture

Find a tribe that will nurture you; have a respectful curiosity and openness to other tribes.

Spiritual emphasis

Subscribe to a System

Revolutionary reform of the system

Experience God’s presence. And craft your own system

Economic engines

Goods (quality)

Services (convenience)

Experiences (quality)

Job Aspiration

Corporate Employee

Freelancer

Artisan

Science

Science will save us

Science unleashes the tools for our destruction

Science gives us the power to transform ourselves

Of course these are general trends.  There will always be contrarians going against the zeitgeist of an era.   However, this is a trend that has legs – I wrote about this last year in my post about DIY Dominion

I believe the new Creative Era is a change akin to the Renaissance.  We see in this era a coming together of sciences and the arts to produce new, exciting, terrifying, mind-boggling, and strange trends.  Da Vinci would have marveled at the tools of creation available to the hands of the masses; and the equipment that is marshaled by the intellectual elite would have seemed to him like magic.

In such an era, Christians need to be more than thinkers – they need to be makers.  We train our best Christian minds in analysis and worldview thinking.  These mental habits are important, but we need to then springboard forward into prototyping, tinkering, jazzing around, crafting, cultivating, and doing. 

In this new era the poets and artisans and makers will have wider influence than the analysts and critics and scolds. 

So… what do you want to make?

Soli Deo Gloria

Russell

4 thoughts on “The Dawning of the New Creative Era: are you ready?

  1. This is interesting stuff– much more so than the news briefs. I would like to read more — maybe I could be something more than an introvert & get some handles on how to approach this generation C — what is their timeframe ?

    • Joan! Thanks so much for commenting (I didn’t even know you knew about the blog.) Generation C is more of a mindset than an age group. It’s the mindset of creating and putting stuff out there and contributing to the great conversation. I would suggest Andy Crouch’s “Culture Making” as a good Christian foundation. Of course, follow the link to the Trendwatching site to see what they say about Generation C.

  2. I like your analysis and believe that innovation, entrepreneurial skills are important. I think we are in the hinge of history similar to Gutenberg and Martin Luther. It is difficult to get Christians to try anything really innovative. What passes for it are the addition of more big box stores getting video streams of the anointed speaker from a secure pulpit. One guy talks and thousands sit. it is definitely not creative. That is like adding a new room on a sailing ship rather than developing a submarine.

    Good stuff.

  3. I like this. I think that these eras are layered on top of each other. Post-modernism has not wiped out modernism. Whatever this is now–postmodernism is certainly over–has not eliminated post-modernism.

    Take Fortune 500 companies. The biggest companies in the world are oil multi-nationals, Wal-Mart, consumer product manufacturers, and car companies. So goods still matter quite a bit.

    And the new sci-tech innovators basically accept a view that we are our brains, our genes, that we are deterministic. They are fierce empiricists.

    So everything’s layered on top of everything else.

    I’m not disagreeing with your broad-strokes approach. I think you’re describing something very real.

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