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Be Opened! The Catholic Church and Deaf Culture

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 Product Description

Background chapters help readers to realize the early misunderstandings about deaf people in the church and in general society, along with social and religious issues facing deaf people throughout history.


A series of connected stories demonstrate the strong Catholic foundations of deaf education in sign language, including sixteenth-century monastery schools for deaf children and nineteenth-century French education in sign language as a missionary attempt.


The author explains how nineteenth-century schools for deaf children, especially those founded by orders of religious sisters, established small communities of Deaf Catholics around the world.


A series of historical stories illustrates the work of pioneering missionaries in several different countries?"apostles to the Deaf"?who helped to establish and develop deaf culture in these communities through adult religious education and the sacraments in sign language. In several chapters focused on the twentieth century, the author describes key happenings that sparked a modern transformation in Deaf Catholic culture.


As linguists began to recognize sign languages as true human languages, deaf people borrowed the practices of Civil Rights activists to gain equality both as citizens and as members of the church. At the same time, deaf people drew inspiration and cultural validation from key documents of Vatican II, and leadership of the Deaf Catholic community began to come from the deaf community rather than to it through missionaries


Many challenges remain, but this book clearly presents Deaf Catholic culture as an important and highly visible embodiment of Catholic heritage. {Lana Portolano; (2021) 320 pages; soft cover}

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