Way-Making: Portability and Practice amid Protestantization in American Confucianism

Lawrence A. Whitney
2022 Religions  
While the study of Confucianism has been ongoing in the United States for quite some time, the idea of its viability in the American context is quite recent. Even more recent are experimental attempts to practice Confucianism in the U.S. This article chronicles several such attempts and considers what demographic data there are, and their frameworks of measurement, of Confucianism in the U.S. It focuses on a case study of debates and conversations about what it means for Confucianism to be
more » ... able" among a small but committed second generation of Boston Confucians. From quiet-sitting meditation, to textual studies and interpretation, to ritual veneration of Confucius and ancestors, this article is one of the first empirical studies of Confucianism as a lived tradition in the United States. It situates these practices, and descriptions, discussions, and debates about them by their enactors, in the context of the Protestantized religious landscape in the U.S. It also considers how Confucianism has registered in unexpected ways in the U.S. context amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Confucianism in the U.S. emerges as a form of way-making, irreducible to the categories of philosophy or religion, that both reflects and transforms its inheritance of Confucianism from East Asia.
doi:10.3390/rel13040291 fatcat:25aw63skjbakxfzohnud5yz24a