BLAURER, MARGARETHA: Sister of Ambrosius Blaurer, one of the most intelligent and deeply religious women of the Reformation time; d. in Constance 1542. She became deeply interested in the person and work of Pilgram Marbeck during his residence in Strasburg (1528-1532) and, whether she sympathized with his antipedobaptist teaching or not, reproached Butzer for his intolerant proceedings against Marbeck and refused to be convinced by Butzer's arguments that Marbeck was a heretic or a hypocrite. She died while ministering to the plague-stricken poor of Constance, and has the honor of being one of the first Protestant women to engage in diaconal service.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. W. Baum, Capito und Butzer, passim, Elberfeld, 1860; C. Gerbert, Geschichte der Strassburger Sectenbewegung zur Zeit der Reformation, 1524-1534, pp. 97 sqq., Strasburg, 1889; and literature under BLAURER, AMBROSIUS.
BLAVATSKY, HELENA PETROVNA: Theosophist; b. at Ekaterinoslav (250 m. n.e. of Odessa), Russia, July 31 (O. S.), 1831; d. in London May 8, 1891. Supposed to have been the child of a Russian officer named Peter Hahn, she married, at the age of seventeen, a Russian official, Nicephore Blavatsky, from whom she separated after a very few months. For the next twenty years her life was a wandering one, mixed with spiritualism and similar cults. During this time she visited Paris, Cairo, New Orleans, Tokyo, and Calcutta, and she claimed to have resided for seven years in Tibet, whence she pretended to draw the mysteries of theosophy. In 1858 she started a spiritualistic movement in Russia, and in 1873 was again in the United States. In 1875 she founded at New York, in collaboration with Col. Henry Steel Olcott, the Theosophical Society. Her chief works, which have run through repeated editions and have been translated into many languages, both in Europe and India, are Isis Unveiled: The Master Key to Ancient and Modern Mysteries, the standard text-book of the Theosophists (2 vols., New York, 1877); Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy (2 vols., 1888); Voice of the Silence (1889); Key to Theosophy, in the Form of Question and Answer (1889); and the posthumous From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan (1892; originally contributed to the Russian Russky Vyestnik); Nightmare Tales (London, 1892) Theosophical Glossary (1892); and Modern Panarion Collection of Fugitive Fragments (1899).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Coulomb, Some Account of my Intercourse with Madame Blavatsky from 1872 to 1884, London, 1885; A. P. Sinnett, Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky, ib. 1886; C. Wachtmeister, Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and "the Secret Doctrine," ib. 1893; A. Lillie, Madame Blavatsky and her "Theosophy": A Study, ib. 1895; V. S. Solovyoff, Modern Priestess of Isis, from the Russian, by W. Leaf, ib. 1895 (an exposť); H. Freimark, Helena Petrovna Blavatzky, Leipsic, 1907.
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