In complementary essays, Micah Meadowcroft and Scott Alexander have both described him a figure much like C. S. Lewis, the intellectual popularizer of Christianity — except, as Alexander says, where Lewis believed in the “Old Religion,” Peterson is “a believer in the New Religion, the one where God is the force for good inside each of us, and all religions are paths to wisdom, and the Bible stories are just guides on how to live our lives.”
This New Religion has many prophets already, of course; the most prominent, her Oprahness, can currently be seen playing an angelic being in the de-Christianized, New Age-ified adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time.” But the example of Oprah points to an interesting truth: When you think about the New Religion’s various cultural and (in the case of yoga) liturgical expressions, they generally skew female. Oprah’s roadshow of spiritual gurus includes men as well as women, but the intended audience for her revivals, as for the “The Secret” or “Eat Pray Love” or the collected works of Paulo Coelho, is very obviously feminine.
Meanwhile, men looking for post-Christian enlightenment seem to gravitate toward secular-rationalist cults like the New Atheism, or more recently toward toxic forms of alt-right politics. In this sense the post-Christian religious landscape is potentially taking Christianity’s gender gap and widening it, playing its own metaphysical role in the growing divergence and polarization of the sexes.