Contemptus mundi

Lit. 'contempt for the world'. An attitude prevalent throughout monastic communities (13-15c), which went beyond mere disdain and contempt for the delights of physical existence. The passage of time itself was seen as a process of decline, and the process of 'civilisation' moving westwards, away from Jerusalem (the centre of the world) was both part of and sign of that decline. Bernard of Cluny (fl. 1140-60) wrote a poem entitled De Contemptu Mundi in which he castigated the morals of the times.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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