Feasting and Fasting



How to Cite

Gwyther, K. (2021). Feasting and Fasting: Hybridity in the Book of Esther. Old Testament Essays, 34(1), 50–67. Retrieved from https://ote-journal.otwsa-otssa.org.za/index.php/journal/article/view/424


This article focuses on the feasting and fasting scenes that permeate the book of Esther. It examines the interactions between fasting and feasting through a lens of hybridity rather than reversal, as is the predominant approach of Western scholarship. To do so, it links the feasting and fasting to Persian and Jewish activity, respectively. Ultimately, it argues that Purim is an example of hybridity as it combines feasting and fasting in its observance, creating a hybrid of Persian and Jewish activity. The construction of Purim as a hybrid is considered in three sections and it relies on Homi K. Bhabha’s postcolonial conception of hybridity: (1) feasting and fasting as Persian and Jewish activity, (2) Esther’s mimicry and the beginning of the hybrid and (3) Purim as a hybrid. Understanding Purim as a hybrid, this article concludes by exploring how this hybrid can offer a challenge to the textual presentation of Persian hegemony in the book of Esther.




Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).