Aubri SkinnerDr. SimmonsHNRS-4117 May 2018The Relationship between Feminism and Christianity in Jane EyreHaving been raised in a Christian household herself, Charlotte Brontë grew up surrounded by no shortage of religious discourse. As a preacher’s daughter, Brontë was brought up with accurate theological knowledge and a personal faith that, as she matured, she often exposed in her writing. A particular novel that reveals Brontë’s personal beliefs is her 1847 novelJane Eyre.As a novel that has had tremendous global impact for over a century, Jane Eyrehas been widely received as either a feminist novel or an ode to religion: a novel centered around Jane’s development as an independent woman, or Jane’s spiritual journey as a Christian. However, the complexity of the novel prohibits simple classification. Brontë crafted Jane, a strong-willed woman living amidst a male-dominated society, as a deeply spiritual practitioner ofChristianity, making both her gender and her faith crucial to her development as a character. It is Jane’s spirituality as a Christian that empowers her individuality as a woman. As Jane is guided by her faith-driven personal convictions, she often finds her religious beliefs prohibiting her fromsubmitting to certain male figures with inaccurate perceptions of God’s teachings. Brontë utilizesJane’s Christian faith as a means to challenge concepts of male superiority, female expectations towards compliance, and antiquated, misinterpreted theology.In making Jane’s individuality and spirituality equally crucial to her growth, working together toshape the bildungsroman, Brontë challenges both sexist and misguided religious ideals alike.