Coming Home

The Birth and Transformation of the Planetary Era

Sean M. Kelly

Available to buy

Quick Look

Describes the phase in which the earth now finds itself, the Planetary Era, and explores its history and future relevance.

216 x 138 mm
Lindisfarne Books
Philosophy of Human Life; Philosophy of the Natural World
208 pages
Publication date:
22 Jul 2010


With the threat of global climate change, a looming mass extinction of species, and increasingly complex and volatile geopolitical relations, the earth has entered a critical phase of what the author describes as the 'Planetary Era.' This era began some five hundred years ago with the conquest of the Americas and the Copernican revolution in cosmology, but it is just now becoming a defining feature of human consciousness on a global scale.

How did the Planetary Era come about, and why was it initiated in the European West? What elements of the Western worldview might contribute to a sustainable planetary culture? Drawing from a wide range of 'big-picture thinkers' --from Hegel, Teilhard, Jaspers and Campbell, to Ken Wilber, Richard Tarnas and Edgar Morin -- the author answers such questions and presents his own synthetic theory of the evolution of consciousness, leading to the birth and transformation of the Planetary Era.


'A brilliant and singular book that shines a powerful light on our critical moment in history. Coming Home brings both vision and scholarship, rigor and imagination, to this all-important task of historical self-reflection, allowing us to glimpse profound overarching patterns that make newly intelligible not only our history but the specific challenges of our Planetary Era. With its publication, Coming Home immediately becomes necessary reading for our time -- necessary, at least, for those in our precarious civilization who know it is their peculiar calling to try to grasp the big picture as accurately as possible.'
-- Richard Tarnas, author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche

'For those travelers seeking meaning in this crisis-riven time, here is both map and provisions for the journey. This is a work of rare distinction. I bow to Kelly’s respect for the radical uncertainty facing us now. His work illumines not only the inescapable nature of this uncertainty, but also its capacity to awaken and ennoble us at this turning in our human journey.'
-- Joanna Macy, author, World as Lover, World as Self

'Kelly sketches an impossibly -- but all the more possibly -- Great Vision. It is not concocted of new agey spiritual pontification. It unfolds in dazzling breadth and trusty erudition, laced by a wise and earthy uncertainty.'
-- Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University; author of Face of the Deep: On the Mystery and On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process

'Sean Kelly takes as his call the entire sweep of Western thought. He brings order to its profusion and finds major meanings and directions overlooked in traditional histories of ideas, all the while highlighting fascinating and forgotten clues and revealing undertows whose significance is becoming increasingly relevant and urgent in our own time. There may be other ways of ordering this vast field, but the story that Kelly presents is elegant, economical, immensely insightful, and, above all, charged with hopeful possibilities for change.'
-- Freya Mathews, Associate Professor of Ecological Philosophy at La Trobe University

'Many readers will be familiar with the work of Richard Tarnas, who endorses this book by saying that it is necessary reading for our time, an assessment with which I wholeheartedly agree.'
-- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Winter 2010.


Sean M. Kelly is Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors