Helen Keller, 1880-1968: A humanitarian who lived her life in accordance with Swedenborg's "divine love and wisdom."
story of Helen Keller is one of the most inspiring of our times. Blind
and deaf from the age of nineteen months, she was wild and unruly in her
childhood. The devoted efforts of her teacher Anne Sullivan opened the
world to her and gave her the capacity to develop and express her
extraordinary intelligence. In defiance of tremendous odds, she learned
to read, write, type, and speak, and in 1904 she graduated with honors
from Radcliffe College.
Keller was introduced to the writings of
Emanuel Swedenborg by John Hitz, a longtime friend who was a member of
the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC. As she began to read
Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell, she remarked, "my heart gave a joyous
leap." She went on to write, in My Religion, of the spiritual odyssey
that brought her to Swedenborgianism and endowed her with the inner
resources to triumph over her handicaps and live a life of selfless
She remained a devoted member of the Church of the Holy
City and on one occasion preached from its pulpit. Her extensive study
of Swedenborg's works gave her the sustaining power of faith that
energized and shone through the great work of her life.