Peter J. Adams Book Description



Navigating Everyday Life: Exploring the Tension Between Finitude and Transcendence

Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018   (265 pages)     ISBN:  9781498544542,   9781498544559


Navigating Everyday Life explores the special moments, big and small, that rupture the surface of everyday life and that can help readers adjust to the disrupting effects of major life crises. Peter Adams delves into the two forces, finitude (the aspects that constrain a person to a situation) and transcendence (those aspects that enable movement beyond such constraints). Building on this framework, Adams looks at the processes and circumstances that both facilitate and block the tensions between finitude and transcendence. He then illustrates how these tensions function in the personal and existential challenges faced by five members of a modern suburban family. Their stories traverse life transitions such as separation, depression, chronic illness, injury, violence, addiction, aging, death, and forgiveness. This book is recommended for scholars and others interested in the intersections between psychology and philosophy.

Where to Find

Lexington Books:   Publisher’s Link  
Amazon:   Hardback        Kindle   
Others:   Goodreads       Booktopia


A-Prof Bethne Hart (University of Notre Dame, Australia, 2018)

This is a powerful swirling narrative centered on the concepts and ways of finitude and transcendence. It brings a scholarly transdisciplinary review of central theory and research; weaving these lessons into the ordinary and extraordinary moments of people’s life stories. It leads us purposefully towards explorations of healing journeys, and provides the reader with much thought, clarity, nourishment and balance. (Endorsement)

A-Prof Rachel Simon-Kumar (University of Auckland, NZ, 2018)

Navigating Everyday Life is a richly-crafted book that explores the conditions that shape individual psycho-social development and addresses the experience of everyday encounters that help them thrive or be thwarted. The book centres around three concepts – Finitude, Transcendence, and Fissures – and, as the opening line of the book states, “it seeks to examine the ongoing interplay between finitude and transcendence and the creative capacity to enable fissures”… This is a fascinating, whirlwind of a book that is theoretically informed and conceptually-laden with new ideas but hung on a tapestry of real-life stories. Although solidly academic in its foundations, this is a very accessible book that offers a framework for personal introspection and reflection. The narrative style is deceptively simple. Adams has an uncanny eye for the obscure and unnamed (and therefore unknown) and by highlighting and naming, he allows us a deeper insight into our human selves. To that end, his ideas are breathtakingly empowering. Adams writing is captivating – as a reader, I found myself drawn into the lives of his characters, exhilarated and enthralled along with them as they searched for transcendence, felt defeated by finitude or plunged into the depths of its darker elements – but also as they were enabled to journey to balance and healing… Adams is an internationally respected academic with decades of experience in the fields of addictions and violence. His works consistently exudes a strong optimism in humanity and the possibilities of personal and social transformation. Navigating Everyday Life is no different; it is humane, hopeful, and empathetic. (Review on Amazon website). See full review