The Conflicted Jewish Imagination of Joy Davidman
From secular Jew to Jewish Christian, Joy Davidman navigated a complex terrain of identity formation. Andrew Barron explores the Jewish aspects of Davidman’s imagination through her poetry, letters, stories “Apostate” and Anya, as well as her later Christian work Smoke on the Mountain. Following the lead of C.S. Lewis, her second husband, in seeing Joy as situated within Israel’s prophetic tradition, Barron draws attention to Davidman’s ongoing connection to her Jewish heritage after her conversion. However, Barron concedes that this assessment is not shared by all: Davidman’s eldest son David embraced traditional Judaism and accused his mother of hypocrisy for remaining culturally Jewish despite her apostasy.