Polunov Aleksandr

Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in Perception of "Russian Torquemada": Some Notes on Religious Views of K. P. Pobedonostsev

Polunov Aleksandr (2016) "Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in Perception of "Russian Torquemada": Some Notes on Religious Views of K. P. Pobedonostsev ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2016, vol. 67, pp. 24-32 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201667.24-32


The article is focused on religious views of Konstantine Pobedonostsev (1827– 1907), the prominent Russian statesman and conservative publicist who lead the religious policy of Russian autocracy on the post of the Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod in 1880–1905. The author’s main attention is concentrated on Pobedonostsev’s attitudes towards Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, two Western confessions which had many adherents on the territory of Russian Empire. The author seeks to demonstrate that, despite of the harsh religious policy of Pobedonostsev which made him known as «Russian Torquemada», his attitudes towards the Western confessions were rather complicated. The Chief Procurator rejected resolutely any possibility of the «heterodox» proselytism on the territory of Russian Empire, and this was the reason for the repressive measures he supported against Roman Catholicism and the charismatic protestant movements, pashkovism and stundism. At the same time, the religious teachings of the Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as such did not engender any negative feelings of Pobedonostsev. He even felt a sympathy towards certain traits of Protestantism such as Protestant labor ethics and cult of lawfulness. Some prominent Protestants who lived in Russia or visited it, such as Baroness E. F. Raden, the US Ambassador to Russia A. D. White, the prominent British Churchman W. J. Birkbeck and others, were friends or close acquaintances of the Russian conservative. The features of the personal attitudes of Pobedonostsev towards the Western faiths, first of all, towards Protestantism, infl uenced to some extend his religious policy on the post of the Chief Procuratorю


K. P. Pobedonostsev, M. Ledóchowski, E. F. Raden, A. D. White, A. P. Stanley, Chief Procurator, protestantism, Roman Catholicism, religious policy of Russian autocracy, Kulturkampf, Lutheranism, pashkovism, stundism.


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Information about the author

Polunov Aleksandr

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: Associate Professor;
Email: email: polunov@spa.msu.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.