October 2, 1187: Muslim general Saladin captures Jerusalem from the crusaders (see issue 40: The Crusades).
October 2, 1792: A dozen English ministers form the Baptist Missionary Society "for the propagation of the Gospel among the Heathen, according to the recommendations of [William] Carey's Enquiry" (see issue 36: William Carey).
October 2, 1800: Slave and lay preacher Nat Turner is born in Southampton County, Virginia. Inspired by biblical texts, the deeply religious and ascetic Turner received visions of liberating his people. On August 22, 1831, he led a major revolt with 60 other slaves, killing 57 white Virginians (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).
December 1, 1170: Banished earlier by king Henry II because he sided with the church against the crown, archbishop of Canterbury Thomas a Becket returns, electrifying all of England. Henry orders his former friend's execution, and Becket is slain by four knights while at vespers December 29. (T.S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral is a fascinating exploration of the event.)
December 1, 1521: Pope Leo X, enemy of Martin Luther (whom he excommunicated in 1520), dies. Though sincere in his faith ...