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Title: Anagoge  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Biblical exegesis, Theology, Tropological reading, John Tzetzes, Eucherius of Lyon
Collection: Biblical Exegesis, Theology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Anagoge (ἀναγωγή), sometimes spelled anagogy, is a Greek word suggesting a "climb" or "ascent" upwards. The anagogical is a method of literal interpretation of spiritual statements or events, especially scriptural exegesis that detects allusions to the afterlife.[1]

Certain medieval theologians describe four methods of interpreting the Scriptures: literal/historical, allegorical, tropological (moral), and anagogical. Hugh of St. Victor, in De scripturis et scriptoribus sacris, distinguished anagoge from allegory. In an allegory, a visible fact is signified by another visible fact. On the other hand, with respect to an anagoge (‘leading above'), from a visible fact, an invisible is declared.

The four methods of interpretation point in four different directions: The literal/historical backwards to the past, the allegoric forwards to the future, the tropological downwards to the moral/human, and the anagogic upwards to the spiritual/heavenly.

See also


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "anagogical interpretation", accessed October 11, 2012
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