Original Research - Special Collection: Septuagint

‘Othering’ and ‘Self-othering’ in the Book of Tobit: A Jungian approach

Helen Efthimiadis-Keith
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a5014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.5014 | © 2018 Helen Keith van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 April 2018 | Published: 30 August 2018

About the author(s)

Helen Efthimiadis-Keith, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


The Book of Tobit is replete with various instances of ‘othering’ that hold the potential for alienation and a variety of strong emotions. For example, Tobit ‘others’ Anna by insisting that she had stolen a goat, whereas she had not. Following a Jungian paradigm, this paper reads the various ‘otherings’ inherent in the interrelationships between the characters as reflections of the main character’s relationship with himself. In so doing, it analyses these relationships through Jung’s concepts of Eros/Logos and anima/animus to determine the nature of Tobit’s ‘self-othering’ and its effect on those around him. It is concluded, among others, that Tobit’s multiple ‘self-otherings’ and his ‘othering’ of ‘other’ characters are because of his suppression of his anima-Eros function that has, in turn, given rise to a dominant (and demonic) animus-Logos.


Book of Tobit; anima/animus; Eros/Logos; ‘othering’; ‘self-othering’; alienation


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Crossref Citations

1. Comical moments and comical characterisations in Tobit: The undermining of self-righteous piety, simplistic retribution, and limited Yahwism
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doi: 10.1177/03090892221081157