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Melancholic dispositions and conscious unhappiness

medieval Christian worldview, especially as part of the latter’s dualistic conception of humanity, which saw human actions as 46 Critical theory and feeling being influenced by good and bad angels or spirits. Acedia –​a chronic listlessness and despondency  –​was seen as the most evil of demons or worldly temptations, for it threatened a commitment to religious life altogether. By adapting the core traits of earlier definitions of melancholy into the Christian notion of acedia, the Desert Fathers effectively transformed melancholia into a morally perilous condition

in Critical theory and feeling