DAMIAN, PETER° (Petrus Damiani; c. 1007–1072), theologian, canonized by the church. On the request of a correspondent named Honestus, probably a monk, Damian wrote an anti-Jewish polemic in two parts: Antilogus contra Iudaeos and Dialogus inter Iudaerum requirentem et Christianum e contrario respondentem. At first Damian had hesitated to undertake the work, for he said it would be useless, as the Jews had already almost completely disappeared from the world; he finally decided to write it lest the inexperience of Christians in religious discussion both strengthen the audacity of unbelievers and give rise to doubts in the hearts of the faithful. However, because of his lack of any real contact with Jews and ignorance of the actual subjects of the Judeo-Christian debate, Damian's work is artificial; at the end he admits that he has little hope of its proving effective with the Jews.
PL, 145 (1853), 41–67; B. Blumenkranz, Les auteurs chrétiens latins… (1963), 265–72.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.