Publication details [#302]

Richardson, Peter. 2012. 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. Metaphor and the Social World 2 (2) : 233–261. 29 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The article compares and analyses movement and proximity metaphors occurring in testimonials produced by Muslim and Christian converts. The data consist of twenty Christian testimonials containing 336 instances of metaphors and fifteen Muslim testimonials containing 480 instances of metaphors. The analyses show that the metaphors exhibit varying patterns of emphasis. In the Christian testimonials, a focus on a relationship with God derived from the language of intimate human relationships is frequent, as compared to the Muslim testimonials in which a focus was found on a personal journey of unbiased research and critical reflection. The analyses also reveal differences in patterns of emphasis between individuals within each group. It is argued that religious certainty is primarily based on presuppositions underpinning action and relationship language and thus expressed in the metaphors studied here. It is further claimed that an awareness of particular individual or community patterns of emphasis in the action and relationship language of believers may help those outside these communities establish points of personal connection. Such points of connection could contribute to the establishment of mutual respect and stimulating co-existence.