RADSTOCKISTS AND PASHKOVISTS
RADSTOCKISTS AND PASHKOVISTS. Both of these late 19th-c. movements may be identified together, were censured by the Church, and were known as “the schism in the aristocracy.” Lord Radstock, Granville Augustus William Waldegrave (1833–1913), referred to by Russians as Radstock, “Redstock,” and “Krestok” (little cross), preached evangelical sermons with great success privately in St. Petersburg’s high society. Nikolai Leskov wrote, “Not to be a Radstockist meant to lower oneself in the eyes of society and risk the danger of becoming labelled a backward person. To take exception with the teaching of the English Lord in a private home was considered equal to insulting the host” (A High-Society Schism, 1877). This work was a critique outlining the positive and negative aspects of the movement on the eve of its transmutation to Pashkovism.
Finishing Oxford with honors, Radstock devoted himself to evangelism and Christian philanthropy, and his preaching took him to France, Holland, Switzerland, India, and three times to Russia: 1874, 1875–76, and 1878. He gained fame most especially on his protracted trips to Russia. As a preacher, he may be classed in evangelical circles that included D. L. Moody in the United States and Dr. F. W. Baedeker in Russia. By his third trip to Russia, he no longer preached in broken French to the St. Petersburg elite, but in his own acquired Russian.
Colonel V. A. Pashkov organized the Society for the Encouragement of Spiritual and Ethical Reasoning in 1876 and the Pashkov Palace became a headquarters for Radstockist evangelical meetings. He emerged as the leader of the movement after Radstock’s last trip to Russia in 1878, aided by his reputation as a wealthy St. Petersburg philanthropist. He was exiled in 1884 along with others of the same ilk. The general phenomenon of Radstockism/Pashkovism, something akin to the Billy Graham evangelical movement, is especially significant now since it anticipated some Protestant religious interests in post-Communist Russia. (Ironically, in the United States original members of the Graham-inspired “Campus Crusade for Christ” have joined the Orthodox Church en masse.)