Is it a Religion?
When the Japanese first encountered the English word “religion” in the late 1850s, they had great difficulty translating it into Japanese, for there was no equivalent Japanese term that encompassed all the various doctrines and sects, nor a generic term as broad as “religion.” For a time, the Japanese continued to use traditional words like shū 宗 (sect, canon), kyō 教 (teachings), and ha 派 (sub-sect or faction) interchangeably for the various strands of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and others. For a short time, “religion” was translated as “sect law” (shūhō 宗法) or “sect doctrine” (shūshi 宗旨). Ultimately, however, the Japanese settled on the term shūkyō 宗教 as the generic all-embracing translation for “religion.” Thus, in modern-day Japan, Buddhism belongs to a universal group that also includes Shintoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. However, the Japanese government does not recognize Confucianism or Taoism as “religions.”
The last quotation from the Analects introduces a term perhaps most famously associated with a very different early Chinese text, the Laozi (Lao-tzu) or Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) - de (te) , "moral force." Like Tian , de is heavily freighted with a long train of cultural and religious baggage, extending far back into the mists of early Chinese history. During the early Zhou period, de seems to have been a kind of amoral, almost magical power attributed to various persons - seductive women, charismatic leaders, etc. For Confucius, de seems to be just as magically efficacious, but stringently moral. It is both a quality, and a virtue of, the successful ruler:
Ren and li have a special relationship in the Analects : li manages one's relationship with one's family and close community, while ren is practiced broadly and informs one's interactions with all people. Confucius did not believe that ethical self-cultivation meant unquestioned loyalty to an evil ruler. He argued that the demands of ren and li meant that rulers could oppress their subjects only at their own peril: "You may rob the Three Armies of their commander, but you cannot deprive the humblest peasant of his opinion" ( Analects ). Confucius said that a morally well-cultivated individual would regard his devotion to loving others as a mission for which he would be willing to die ( Analects ). 
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The Analects of Confucius e-text contains the full text of The Analects by Confucius.
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