Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In Store Now - A Sword Between Sexes?: C.S. Lewis and the Gender Debates

Hot off the press from Brazos is A Sword Between Sexes?: C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen.  Those with an interest in the current gender debate will no doubt find this of interest especially if they have an added interest in C. S. Lewis.  From what I can glean it appears Lewis had quite a change in opinion over the years. 

Van Leeuwen states in the introduction: "As early as 1955 he [Lewis] confided to Dorothy L. Sayers that he didn't like 'either ultra masculine or the ultra feminine . . . I prefer people.'  How he journeyed to his 'preference for people' from his earlier endorsement of gender essentialism and gender hierarchy turns out to be a complex and fascinating tale, with ongoing significance for the psychology of gender."

Here are some of the endorsements:

"An eye-opener. For those of us who have been influenced by C. S. Lewis but have distrusted his views on gender, this book provides a welcome and carefully researched account of how Lewis changed his mind."--John Hare, Yale Divinity School

"A keen intellect and a rich academic background are necessary in tackling a substantive study of C. S. Lewis and gender, and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen brings those resources and much more to her work. In this fascinating, careful, and probing examination, Lewis's views of gender and his relationships with women are discussed within their cultural, historical, and theological contexts. This book is wonderfully illuminating and important for C. S. Lewis fans and anyone interested in contemporary discussions of gender."--Christine D. Pohl, professor of social ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary

"In a fascinating chapter about her own relationship to C. S. Lewis, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen lays all her cards on the table. Then she traces Lewis's changing views of gender step by step through his prodigious output of books and letters until the end of his life, considering not only his work, but the man himself, and the way he has been viewed by others. Van Leeuwen's spirit is generous; her prose, wonderfully clear; her arguments, powerful; and her insight, remarkable. Whether you're a scholar, a Lewis fan, or a general reader, you will find yourself turning pages with pleasure."--Jeanne Murray Walker, professor of English, University of Delaware

Van Leeuwen is professor of psychology and philosophy at Eastern University. The book is a paperback with 264 pages and sells for $19.99.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

This book is of particular interest to me having made a similar change in my view of gender (and because I'm a Lewis fan). I just received a copy of this book from a friend. If you read it, Louis, please post a review.