Chouraqui, Andre 1917–2007

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Chouraqui, Andre 1917–2007

(Andre Nathanael Chouraqui)


See index for CA sketch: Born August 11, 1917, in Ain Temouchent, Algeria; died July 9, 2007, in Jerusalem, Israel. Linguist, translator, poet, and writer. Chouraqui was raised in Algeria in the 1920s, when Algerian Jews like himself lived in close proximity and relative harmony with Muslims and Christians. He spent most of his adult life trying to revive and spread that harmony wherever he went. In the 1970s he produced a twenty-six-volume translation of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible into modern French, using his skills as a linguist to inject into the French translation as much of the meter and rhythm of the original biblical languages as possible. Ten years later Chouraqui produced a similar French translation of the Koran. This work did not escape controversy in the Muslim world. In his introduction to the translation, Chouraqui wrote about the connections that he believed existed between the teachings of Islam and those of Judaism and Christianity. Muslim religious purists countered, on the other hand, that the God of Mohamed must be regarded and treated quite separately from the God of Abraham or the God of Christ. Chouraqui saw his mission as one of uniting people of faith in the veneration of one God, though he did not consider himself a theologian or religious scholar per se. Chouraqui lived in Israel after World War II, working briefly as a government advisor and even serving as a deputy mayor of Jerusalem. He traveled in the West, including three trips to the Vatican to meet with three different popes, and eventually achieved his goal of securing official Vatican recognition of the State of Israel in 1993. Chouraqui wrote several books, including the poetry collection Cantique pour Nathanael (1960), a biography of Zionist statesman Theodor Herzl, and various books about Jerusalem as a city and spiritual center of Israel. His essay collections Lettre à un ami arabe (1969) and Lettres à un ami chretien (1971) represent his contributions to the Jewish-Arab-Christian dialogue.



Choraquie, Andre, A Man in Three Worlds, translated by Kenton Kilmer, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1984.

Chouraqui, Andre, L'Amour fort comme la mort: Une Autobiographie, Editions R. Laffont (Paris, France), 1990.


Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2007, p. B6.

Times (London, England), August 8, 2007, p. 48.