He was particularly interested in Stundism, a Christian sect, and Tolstoy told him about a letter which he had received from a peasant Stundist
with a detailed report on the cruel persecutions of the dissents.
To make the case, Russia's Lost Reformation painstakingly traces the history and theological development of three broad sects that came to fruition in southern Russia and Ukraine during the nineteenth century--the Shalaput, Stundist, and Stundo-Shalaput (or Maliovantsy).
Less indigenous was the Stundist movement, which was started by German immigrants of Anabaptist background.
They also challenged the Russian patriarchal order by allowing women to take leadership roles--there were, for example, Shalaput prophetesses and Stundist women preachers.
Typical is an undated print, probably from the 1860s, showing good and bad marriages, with observers looking on, including a couple in German style dress, suggesting perhaps their association with a Protestant sect such as the Stundists (Fig.
On the Stundists and the role of clothing in the peasant identity see Sergei Zhuk, Russia's Lost Reformation: Peasants, Millennialism, and Radical Sects in Southern Russia and Ukraine, 1830-1917 (Baltimore, 2004), 276-77.
In southern Russia and Ukraine, the array of sectarian groups was rich; and Orthodox believers could select from Shalaputs, Stundists
, Stundo-Shalaputs, and Maliovantsy, all of which had their charismatic leaders.