The Literary Influence 6: Views of Contemporary Culture

Pagans are more known for their ‘live in a field’ aspect than that of ‘live in a library’, but camping out amongst the shelves may just find you a gem or two which has influenced pagan critical thinking about how we see the world around us, and how we view the past.

In 2000, Paul H Ray and his partner Sherry Ruth Anderson wrote a book called The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World.  In it they proposed a new division of critical thinking amongst contemporary culture.

Ray and Anderson saw two conflicting world views in contemporary culture, Traditionalism and Modernism, with a third emerging view–the Cultural Creatives.

They defined traditionalism as taking the form of country folks rebelling against big city slickers.  Heartlanders who believe in a nostalgic image of small towns and strong churches that define the American Way.

Modernism was defined as the governing world of the urban merchant classes and creators of the modern economy.  It defines modern politicians, military leaders, scientists and intellectuals.  Modernists place high values on personal success, consumerism, materialism and technological rationality.

There are three main strands proposed to the cultural creative movement: environmentalism, social justice and consciousness.  Among the values listed by Ray and Anderson for this emerging type are: Nature as sacred, ecological sustainability, religious mysteries exist, creative time, general green values and self actualization.

The 2000 book had been preceded in 1997 by an article by Ray on “The emerging culture: nearly one in four American adults lives by a new set of values, ” which was originally published in American Demographics (Feb. 1997).   Both the book and article are taken from an American viewpoint, but the conclusions are still relevant to today’s society.

You can find out more by looking at the Cultural Creatives website run by the authors HERE



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