The Fourfold Hermeneutic

As I was reading last night, I came across a "verse" from the 16th century (attributed to Augustine of dacia). It summarizes the fourfold hermeneutic that was employed in those days, here's what it says:

"The letter shows what God and our fathers did;
The allegory shows us where our faith is hid;
The moral meaning gives us rules of daily life;
The anagogy shows us where we end our strife."

Of course, "letter" refers to the literal-historical meaning, allegorical and moral speak for themselves and "anagogical" represents the heavenly or non-earthly meaning. Interesting stuff!

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