The crisis of global modernity has been produced by human overreach that was founded upon a paradigm of national modernisation. Today, the foundations of sovereignty can no longer be sought in tunnelled histories of nations; we are recognising that histories have always been circulatory and the planet is a collective responsibility. I re-consider the values and resources in Asian traditions-particularly of China and India - that Max Weber found wanting in their capacity to achieve modernity. Several traditions in Asia, particularly in environmentally marginalised local communities offer different ways of understanding the relationship between the personal, ecological and universal. The idea of transcendence in these communities is more dialogical than radical or dualistic: separating God or the human subject from nature.