Neo-Confucianism

Korean Neo-Confucian Academies

Confucianism, devised by Confucius (551–479 BCE), is a philosophy, which believes human nature is intrinsically good and therefore pursues an ideal society of moral practice and rationalism. Neo-Confucianism, as a school of thought built on the teachings of 11th century moral philosophers, took shape in the 12th century in the Song Dynasty, largely attributable to Zhu Xi (1130– 1200) who synthesized the elite social movement. Neo-Confucianism was a kind of organic holistic understanding of the universe and human being. As a result it had made impacts on politics as well as individual daily lives in Asia.

seowon2

Dodong-seowon

Neo-Confucianism was introduced to Korea in the 13th century to become uniquely adapted to Korean culture. It has made significant impacts on a wide range of aspects, from politics to economy, society and culture, and served as an absolute standard to interpret the worldview, which was towards human, society, nation, nature and cosmology.