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Anagoge (ἀναγωγή), sometimes spelled anagogy, is a Greek word suggesting a "climb" or "ascent" upwards. The anagogical is a method of spiritual interpretation of literal statements or events, especially scriptural exegesis that detects allusions to the afterlife.
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.
- Biblical hermeneutics
- Allegorical interpretation of the Bible
- Historical-grammatical method
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