Confuciansim: Chinese school of ethical, political and religious teachings commonly attributed to Confucius (c. 551-479 B.C.). Confucianism places great weight on the cultivation of ethical virtues such as kingliness, humaneness and gentlemanliness that are cultivated through rituals. Ethical duties within Confucianism depend on one's social and family position. There is some dispute over the religious character of Confucianism, centering on the nature of tian, or "heaven," which is in some way the ground of our ethical duties. Some have interpreted this concept in a transcendent, metaphysical way, while neo-Confucians tend to think of "heaven" as a metaphorical way of describing the natural ethical order of things.1
1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 26.