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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Neo-Confucianism as the Dominant Ideology in Joseon

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2003, v.43 no.4, pp.59-86

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Abstract

The Neo-Confucian literati who emerged in Goryeo's later years adopted Neo-Confucianism as a new ideology of addressing tasks of the time in place of Buddhism. Dominant ideology's shift from Buddhism to Neo-Confucianism in the later years of Goryeo and the early years of the Joseon dynasty represented a major development in Korea's intellectual history, responding to a transformation in medieval Korea. Neo-Confucianism served as the dominant ideology throughout the Joseon dynasty. However, responses to various historical situations were quite different from one another, so Neo-Confucianism's role and relative importance were not the same throughout the 500-year history of the dynasty. Neo-Confucianism also played a prominent role in the development of Korean society until the latter half of the seventeenth century. However, when Korea began to change from an agriculture-oriented society into a commerce- and industry-oriented one thereafter, Neo-Confucianism failed to successfully cope with the resultant social changes, resulting in deepened socioeconomic contradictions. There arose a new school of Practical Learning in an attempt to resolve these contradictions.

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Korea Journal