Practicing Transcendence

Axial Age Spiritualities for a World in Crisis

  • Christopher Peet

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Christopher Peet
    Pages 33-61
  3. Christopher Peet
    Pages 63-98
  4. Christopher Peet
    Pages 145-219
  5. Christopher Peet
    Pages 295-311
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 313-354

About this book


This book introduces readers to the concept of the Axial Age and its relevance for a world in crisis. Scholars have become increasingly interested in philosopher Karl Jaspers’ thesis that a spiritual revolution in consciousness during the first millennium BCE decisively shaped world history. Axial ideas of transcendence develop into ideologies for world religions and civilizations, in turn coalescing into a Eurasian world-system that spreads globally to become the foundation of our contemporary world. Alongside ideas and ideologies, the Axial Age also taught spiritual practices critically resisting the new scale of civilizational power: in small counter-cultural communities on the margins of society, they turn our conscious focus inward to transform ourselves and overcome the destructive potentials within human nature.  Axial spiritualities offer humanity a practical wisdom, a profound psychology, and deep hope: to transform despair into resilience, helping us face with courage the ecological and political challenges confronting us today.


Axial Age Psychology of religion Existentialism Transcendence Karl Jaspers Existential Phenomenology Ancient Philosophy Taoism Confucianism Hinduism Buddhism Jainism Judaism Axial Age Thinkers Great Philosophers

Authors and affiliations

  • Christopher Peet
    • 1
  1. 1.The King’s UniversityEdmontonCanada

Bibliographic information