Swedenborgian Church of North America Swedenborgian Church of North America

Helen Keller

A humanitarian who lived her life in accordance with Swedenborg's "divine love and wisdom"

The 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 service.

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.