Religion Past and Present

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(168 words)

[German Version]

(Gk. ἀκηδία/akēdia) originally meant “indifference, apathy.” From the fourth century on, monastic spirituality used the term to denote the fundamental temptation of a monk: spiritual surfeit that finds expression in melancholy and inward desolation. Athanasius was the first to associate acedia with the “noonday demon” (Ps 91:6). The classic description of acedia is that of Evagrius Ponticus, who lists it among the eight evil “thoughts” (logismoi). Cassian transmitted to western spirituality Evagrius's schema of eight vices and hence the characte…

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Weismayer, Josef, “Acedia”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 March 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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