February 15, 1386: Jagiello, king of the Lithuanians, is baptized. His conversion, the condition of an alliance with Poland, marks the end of established paganism in Europe.
February 15, 1631: John Donne, the greatest love poet of the English language and dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, preaches his last sermon titled "Death's Duel." "We celebrate our own funeral with cries, even at our birth," preached the poet, who was seemingly obsessed with the subject for his entire life (32 of his 54 songs and sonnets are about death).
February 15, 1860: Wheaton College (formerly Illinois Institute), one of evangelicalism's top institutions of higher education, is chartered in Illinois.
February 15, 1905: Christian author Lew Wallace dies at age 77. Wallace famous Ben Hur (1880) conceived on a train ride while arguing about Christ's divinity with famous agnostic Robert Ingersoll. It sold more than 300,000 copies in a decade, making him one of the best-selling religious authors of the 1800s.
February 21, 1109: Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury recognized as the "founder of Scholasticism," dies. One of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages, his treatise Why Did God Become Man was the greatest medieval treatise on the atonement. He is also known for his ontological argument for the existence of God.
February 21, 1142: Medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian Peter Abelard dies. Perhaps best known for his (chaste) love affair with nun Heloise, Abelard made ...