How does one culture ‘read’ another? In Literature and Religion, two scholars, one from China and one from the West, each read texts from the other’s culture as a means of dialogue. A key issue in such an enterprise is the nature of religion and what we understand by that term in a world in which ancient religious customs seem to be dying or under threat. Does a comparative study of religious literature offer a way towards mutual understanding – or merely illustrate our differences? Underpinned by their own friendship, these two partners in conversation show what is possible.