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Literature, Deaf Themes in

  • By: Pamela R. Conley
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

From the time when the printed word became another means of human communication, culturally and audiologically deaf people have been cited consistently in written works that represent different societies from all eras, demonstrating that culturally and audiologically deaf people have had an enduring history of coexisting with hearing people.

The earliest allusions to deaf people are found in primary Jewish and Christian sources. These people are acknowledged in the sacred manuscripts primarily as protected groups with restricted legal rights.

Deaf people are quoted in the Bible, indicating that they existed in biblical times. The stories in the Bible largely portray these people as lost souls. Concurrently, the Bible instructs its readers to treat them benevolently. Varied scriptural explanations and lessons with themes involving deaf people suggest that ...

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