Ruist Basics

How Familiar Do Americans Say They Are with Neo-Confucianism?

A few months ago, we set out to assess Americans’ self-reported knowledge of, and attitudes toward, Ruism. To achieve this, we conducted a survey of 379 adults living in the United States. We’ll be sharing the results in the coming weeks.

During the Song and Ming dynasties, great thinkers like Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming brought Ruist ideas to bear on the philosophical and political questions of their day. This school of thought, which many in the West call Neo-Confucianism, had an incredible impact on the lives of millions of people throughout China, Korea, and Japan.

We asked Americans, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how familiar are you with Neo-Confucianism?”

  n %
1 (Not at all familiar) 186 49.1
2 69 18.2
3 50 13.2
4 50 13.2
5 (Very familiar) 24 6.3

Almost half of the respondents said they were not at all familiar with Neo-Confucianism. Only about 6% claimed to be very familiar with it.