This article investigates examples of the blocking or development of empathy in videoed discussions between three pairs of conservative Muslim and Christian believers. The analysis focusses on the use of figurative language in the discussions with the aim of identifying examples of metaphor appropriation, and reveals three types of shared metaphor usage. The first is shared language based on the overlapping semantic fields that Christians and Muslims draw on in order to describe their experience. The second consists of appropriation that appears to contribute to the blocking of empathy through the imposition of narratives with specific assumptions. The third involves discourse convergence and empathy development, demonstrating the potential of this type of discourse format to promote bridge building between particular individuals at specific moments in a discourse.
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