Review Essay: A Critical Moment in Lewis Gender Studies


  • Brenton D.G. Dickieson Signum University


Monika, Hilder, Gender, That Hideous Strength, Mere Christianity, Preface to Paradise Lost, N.I.C.E., Ransom Trilogy, Space Trilogy, feminine, masculine, sexism, misogyny, misogynistic


“Sometimes a little of the Oxford don stayed with the redeemed Lewis.” This was a comment given during the question period of a lecture at a large evangelical seminary some years ago. It caused a ripple of laughter throughout the crowd—an audience appreciative of C.S. Lewis’s Christian and literary contribution, but at least in part uncomfortable with some of the gender references in his work. “Lewis and Gender” remains one of the hot topics in Lewis studies, with a rich conversation in play. Monika Hilder’s trilogy of books on Lewis and gender is the most recent critical contribution to this conversation, and is potentially transformative of our view of Lewis’s life and work. This review essay by Brenton Dickieson analyzes Hilder's framework as well as her analysis of Lewis on gender based on her trilogy of books: The Feminine Ethos in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia (2012); The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C.S. Lewis's Cosmic Trilogy (2013); and Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender (2013).

Author Biography

Brenton D.G. Dickieson, Signum University

Brenton D.G. Dickieson is in the last stages of a theology and literature Ph.D. at the University of Chester, on C.S. Lewis’s spiritual theology. In 2013 he published “The Unpublished Preface to C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters” in Notes and Queries. He has contributed to Lewis research in Both Sides of the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis, Theological Imagination and Everyday Discipleship (2015), Inklings Forever (2012 and 2018), and the Mythopoeic Award-winning The Inklings and King Arthur (2017). Brenton is the author of the popular blog, “A Pilgrim in Narnia.” He is Lecturer and Preceptor at Signum University, Sessional Professor at the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at the University of Prince Edward Island, and Instructor in Spiritual Theology
at Regent College in Vancouver, BC.





Review Essays