Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker (Wikipedia).
Beyond the dramatic story of her deafness and blindness, Helen Keller was also deeply involved as a social activist for overcoming inequality, poverty, and class.
The popular narrative of Helen Keller — born 135 years ago this weekend, on June 27, 1880 — is a classic American story about triumphing in the face of adversity, which emphasizes individual determination over political action. But Keller’s true legacy also includes a commitment to socioeconomic justice, which she saw as instrumental to improving the lives of people with disabilities (Time).
Heresy, Orthodoxy, and Self-Identity
Her claim about heresy and orthodoxy is the leading quotation of "Chapter 3: Augustine's Search for Identity" in Your True Self Identity: How Familiar Translations of Bible Verses in the Gospel of Matthew Hide Your True Identity from You.
What is particularly striking is the difference in self-confidence between the biographies of Helen Keller and Augustine. Helen Keller was happy and self-confident despite her deafness and blindness. In contrast, Augustine was profoundly unhappy and filled with life-long self-doubt rather than self-confidence.
The story of Augustine has many facets, including child abuse and struggle for self-identity through various stages of religious belief. This is the story of a child who experienced childhood trauma. In Augustine's case, his trauma had profound impact on his religious beliefs, which in turn has had powerful impact on Christian beliefs throughout the centuries.
The previous chapter introduced Augustine as he introduced himself in his Confessions — a tormented man whose theology was set in motion by his experience of being beaten by his teachers when he was a child at school. Augustine experienced the essential wound that defined his theology when he prayed to God to stop the beatings and God did not save him. This part of the story is left out of many descriptions of Augustine's life story (Your True Self Identity, page 35).