Revolution or Renaissance: Making the Transition from an Economic Age to a Cultural Age
By D. Paul Schafer
University of Ottawa Press, 2008, 296 pages, 65 CAD, ISBN 978-0-7766-0672-9
Revolution or Renaissance: Making the Transition from an Economic Age to a Cultural Age, by Culturelink member D. Paul Schafer, is based on the conviction that humanity needs to pass out of the present economic age and into a future cultural age if environmental sustainability, human well-being, economic viability, and global harmony are to be achieved.
This conviction is confirmed through an intensive analysis of the origins, evolution, strengths, and shortcomings of the present economic age, as well as an in-depth examination of the signs, foundations, functioning, priorities, and flourishing of a future cultural age. A cultural model of development is used to show in theoretical and practical terms why culture and cultures are central to human existence, and therefore should be treated as ends in themselves rather than means to other ends. This makes the challenge of the future one of developing culture and cultures in breadth and depth, situating culture and cultures effectively in the natural, historical, and global environment, and ensuring that culture and cultures are used for constructive rather than destructive purposes.
A plea is made to the cultural community to spearhead the renaissance that is so badly needed for the future. This renaissance is required to shift the priority from consumption, consumerism, competition, materialism and the marketplace to sharing, cooperation, conservation, creativity and spirituality. This would make it possible for people and countries in all parts of the world to enjoy reasonable standards of material living and a great deal of fulfillment and happiness without straining the globe’s fragile eco-system, scarce resources, and basic staples to the breaking point.
The book is published by the University of Ottawa Press in its governance series. It was first published in Chinese by the Social Sciences Academic Press in Beijing in 2006 through the initiative of Culturelink member Professor Gao Xian.
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