A closer walk
A study of the interaction between metaphors related to movement and proximity and presuppositions about the reality of belief in Christian and Muslim testimonials
Committed, conservative Christians and Muslims are often characterised by a perceived sense of the absolute certainty of their beliefs. This certainty and the seemingly rigid nature of what they believe (including notions such as judgement and eternal punishment) often bring them into a degree of conflict and competition with other worldviews. This situation can make attempts at mutually stimulating engagement and co-existence outside of evangelisation or debate difficult. However, I will argue that this sense of certainty is primarily located in the implicit presuppositions beneath inherently fluid action and relationship language that can often be expressed through metaphors of movement and proximity. This article analyses such metaphors in testimonials produced by Muslim and Christian converts and argues that they exhibit varying patterns of emphasis. These include a focus on a relationship with God derived from the language of intimate human relationships in the Christian testimonials, as compared to a focus on a personal journey of research and reflection in the Muslim testimonials. I will conclude by arguing that an awareness of particular individual or community patterns of emphasis in the action and relationship language of conservative believers may help those outside these communities establish points of personal connection. These points of connection may in turn contribute to the possibility of successful, mutually stimulating co-existence.
Published online: 04 March 2013
Cited by 9 other publications
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