BLONDEL, DAVID: French Protestant theologian; b. at Châlons-sur-Marne 1590; d. at Amsterdam 1655. He belonged to a noble family of Champagne; studied classics at the College of Sédan and theology at the Academy of Geneva; was called as pastor to Houdan (Île de France), then to Roucy on the estate of La Rochefoucauld. Because of his great knowledge of the Scriptures and of ecclesiastical history, he was chosen more than twenty times secretary of the provincial synod of Île de France. His writings in defense of the Protestants against their Roman Catholic opponents won for him a great reputation for scholarship. In 1631 he was appointed professor of divinity at Saumur, but his pariah of Roucy declined to give him up. For his contributions to the history of the Reformation, the National Council of Charenton allowed him an annuity of 1,000 livres, enabling him to devote himself to his studies without fear of want. After the death of Vossius in 1650, he was appointed professor of history at the École Illustre at Amsterdam. Pierre Bayle said of him: "He was a man who had an unbounded knowledge of religious and profane history." He was accused by the orthodox party of Arminianism and of indifference to his church; he also endured much from political opponents on account of an article against Cromwell written during the war between Great Britain and Holland. His works were in part: Modeste declaration de la sincérité et vérité des Églises réformées de France (Sédan, 1619); Pseudo-Isidorus et Turrianus vapulantes (Geneva, 1628); Eclaircissements familiers de la controverse de l'Eucharistie (Quevilly, 1641); De la primauté en l'Église (Geneva, 1641); Des Sibylles, célébrées tant par l'antiquité payenne que par les Saints-Pères (Charenton, 1649); Actes authentiques des Églises réformées de France, Germanie, Grande-Bretagne (Amsterdam, 1655).
BLOOD-BROTHERHOOD. See COMPARATIVE RELIGION, VI, 1, b, § 6.
BLOOD-REVENGE: A custom nearly universal in the tribal or clan stage of society, often surviving later, binding the kin of a murdered man to secure satisfaction for the murder by the death of the slayer or of one of his clan. The custom depends upon two fundamentals of that stage of civilization: (1) the sacredness of life and the solidarity of the clan; (2) the lex talionis. Its essence is execution of the slayer or some of his
In the advance of civilization the State assumes
exclusively the function of Capital Punishment
and the custom becomes obsolete. The
Hebrew legislation furnishes an example of an
intermediate condition, by which the right of the
family of a man deliberately (not wantonly) murdered to execute justice was recognized and the
murderer, when captured, was delivered by the
authorities to the avenger of blood (go'el haddam,
BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. H. Post, Studien sur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Familienrechts, pp. 113-137, Oldenburg, 1889; Smith, Kinship (invaluable for the Semitic peoples, cf. also his Rel. of Sem.); and for modern savage practise, Spencer and F. J. Gillen, Native Tribes of Central Australia, London, 1899; idem, Northern Tribes of Central Australia, ib. 1904; DB. ii, 222-224; EB, ii, 1746-47.
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