|Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D.|
Director of Shalom Initiative
Printable CV (PDF document)
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Professional association presentations
Selected Lectures at Drew University
Lectures at Other Universities
Guest lecturer at Colleges and Universities
Continuing education seminars
National conference coordination
Special awards & honors
Grants & scholarships
Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations
Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities
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Formerly Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program (1996-2007), he was responsible for the development and oversight of six academic concentrations over a period of 12 years, including: Congregational Growth and Development; Worship, Spirituality and Preaching; Hispanic Leadership and Ministry Development, Ecological Ministries and Interfaith Dialogue; Pastoral Care and Counseling; and the Global/Online DMIN in Postmodern Leadership Development.
Working at the intersection of psychology, spirituality and social justice, his academic and professional interests are in pastoral theology, spiritual formation, mental health education, and community transformation. He is certified as a Field Traumatologist with professional experience in community mental health promotion and training. His administrative competencies are in communications, program design, organizational management, strategic planning, and academic leadership in theological education. Orignially ordained in the Church of the Nazarene, he is a clergy member of the California Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.[+] back to top
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Director, Shalom Intiative for Prophetic Leadership and Community Development, and Affiliate Associate Professor of Spirituality, Drew University; International Director of Communities of Shalom for The United Methodist Church.[+] back to top
Affiliate Associate Professor of Spirituality, Caspersen School of Graduate Studies
Adjunct in Pastoral Theology, Drew Theological School
Adjunct in Religious Studies, Drew College of Liberal Arts
Visiting Instructor in Practical Theology and Urban Ministry, Point Loma College
American Academy of Religion
Associate, Center for Millennial Studies, Boston University (1998-2001)
Phi Delta Lambda Honor Society, Point Loma Nazarene University
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Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit by Henri Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird, HarperCollins, 2010
Partakers of the Divine Nature: Deification in the Christian Traditions, Michael J. Christensen and Jeffery Wittung, eds. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007. Paperback edition: Baker Academic, 2008
Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird, HarperCollins, 2006.
The Heart of Henri Nouwen: Words of Blessing, ed., with Rebecca Laird. Crossroad, 2003.
The World After Chernobyl: Social Impact and Christian Response. Crossroads Monograph Series on Faith and Public Policy (1997, 2001).
Equipping the Saints: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry,Abingdon, 2000.
Children of Chernobyl: Raising Hope From the Ashes, with Michele Carter. Augsburg Fortress Press, 1993-winner of First Place Book Award, California Press Women (1994); Russian edition (1995); Japanese edition (1996).
The Samaritan's Imperative: Compassionate Ministry to People Living With AIDS. Abingdon, 1991.
City Streets, City People: A Call to Compassion. Abingdon, 1989.
C S. Lewis on Scripture --first published by Word Books in 1979 (over 25,000 hardbacks sold); reissued in paperback by Abingdon Press and Hodder & Stoughton, 1988); reprinted by Parthenon Press (1996); reprinted by Abingdon (2002).
Contributions to Reference Books and Edited Volumes
Editorial Board Member and Contributor, The C.S. Lewis Bible. HarperCollins, 2010
Excerpt from Japanese translation of Children of Chernobyl: Raising Hope from the Ashes in the National Database of The National Institute for Japanese Language Research, Tokyo, Japan (2008).
“The Great Transformation In The Crucible Of Our Times: What Is Theosis For The Church And The World In The 21st Century?” In Becoming Divine: Essays On Theosis In Honor Of Father Alexander Men, Bishop Seraphim Sigrist, Editor. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press, 2007)
Chapter on “Global Youth Culture in Russia and Ukraine” in Youth, Religion and Globalization: New Research in Practical Theology. International Practical Theology Vol. 3. Richard R. Osmer and Kenda Creasy Dean, eds. (Berlin: LIT Verlag 2006)
“Extravagant Love: How Jerry Came Home after Hurricane Katrina” in Katrina: Stories of heroism and faith in the midst of natural disaster. Fetcher L. Tink and Oliver R. Phillips, eds. Beacon Hill Press, 2005
“Community in Disaster” and “Chernobyl” in Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World, Karen Christensen and David Levinson, ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2003.
“How Big is God?” in Befriending Life: Encounters with Henri Nouwen, Beth Porter, ed. Doubleday: June 2001.
Associate Editor and Contributor: Routledge Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements, Richard Landes, General Editor (Routledge 2000); Contributed essays on “Chernobyl”, “Russian Millennialism” and “Marking Millennial Moments.”
“Calcutta” and “Street Youth” in Encyclopedia of Homelessness (Two Volumes) David Levinson, General Editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004.
Thematic essays and in-text notes on “Heart”, “Fasting”, and “City” in The Everyday Study Bible. Word, 1996.
Book Review: Steven Thomas, Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Biblical Perspective, in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies (September, 2009)
“Is AIDS a Judgment of God?” in Circuit Rider (July/August, 2007)
“A Faith-Based Response to the AIDS Crisis in Malawi” in The Living Pulpit (July-September 2007)
“The Shrewdness in Stewardship” in The Living Pulpit (July-September 2006)
“Teaching from the Center: Spirituality of the Heart in the Theology of Henri Nouwen” Journal of Christian Education and Information Technology (April 2006, Vol 9)
“The Outsider Inside the Upside-down Kingdom: A Biblical Basis for Ministries of Mercy and Justice” in The Living Pulpit (October 2004).
“Spiritual Brothers: Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen” Sacred Journey (April 2002).
“After the Year of Jubilee” The Living Pulpit (Vol. 10 No. 2 April/June 2001).
“Huston Smith on the Universal Truths in the World Religions” Sacred Journey (August 2001).
Guest Editor, Circuit Rider, “Are You Wired?” technology and ministry issue published by United Methodist Publishing Company (May/June 2000).
“Merton and Nouwen as Brothers” Henri Nouwen Stitching (Dutch, Jan. 2001).
“Time and Calendars in Russian Apocalyptic Eschatology” in Journal of Christian Education and Information Technology (April 2004, Vol 5)
“The Psychosocial Impact of Chernobyl: Thirteen Years After” The Journal of Intergroup Relations (Vol. XXVI, No. 1, Spring 1999).
“The Chernobyl Prophecy in Russian Apocalyptic Eschatology” The Living Pulpit (Vol. 8, No. 1, January 1999).
“Believers Without Borders: Bringing Hope to Kosovo Refugees” The Covenant Companion, (July 1999).
“The Russian Idea of Apocalypse: Nikolai Berdyaev’s Theory of Russian Cultural Apocalyptic” The Journal of Millennial Studies, Online @www.mille.org/journal.html (December 1998)
"Theosis and Sanctification: John Wesley's Reformulation of a Patristic Doctrine" Wesleyan Theological Journal (Vol. 31, No. 2, Fall, 1996).
"Evangelical-Orthodox Dialogue in Russia" The Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Spring 96).
"Evangelism, Ecumenism and Mission" Religion in Eastern Europe (Volume XVI, No.3, 1996).
“AIDS Ministry and the Article of Death: A Wesleyan Pastoral Theological Perspective” Catalyst (March 1995).
Feature Book Review of Thomas Oden’s Classical Pastoral Care, in Baker Books’ four-volume edition. Christian Counseling Resource Review (Summer 1995).
“Practical Divinity: Our Theological Task in Urban Ministry” Catalyst- - the quarterly publication of A Foundation for Theological Education (Vol. 20, No. 4, April 1994).
“People With AIDS” Christian Counseling Today (Spring 1994).
“C. S. Lewis on Love, Sex and Remarriage” The First Hour (Spring 1994).[+] back to top
Courses Taught At Drew University and other Institutions 1993 - present
College of Liberal Arts:
The Theological School (M.Div. program)
The Theological School (DMIN program)
The Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew University (Ph.D. and D.Litt. Programs)
Warner University, Orlando
New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Point Loma College as Visiting Instructor (1988)
Presider, Sustainability Task Force: "Delicous Peace Grows in a Ugandian Coffee Bean", American Academy of Religon (2011)
"Communities of Shalom and Faith-Based Initiataives" plenary presentation, Community Leaders Interfaith Partnership Summit sponsored by SAMHSA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Baltimore, May, 2010)
“Social Conflict and Communities of Shalom”, Presidential Leadership Summit on Conflict Resolution (Bacone College, (October, 2008)
“The Great Transformation in the Crucible of our Times: What is theosis for the Church and the World in the 21st century?”--keynote lecture for the Russian Orthodox international conference on the Eschatological Vision of Alexander Men. Church of St. Mary Magdalene, NY (2007).
“Teaching from the Center: Spirituality of the Heart in the Theology of Henri Nouwen” at Korean Society for Christian Education and Information Technology, Torch Trinity Divinity School, Seoul, Korea (2006)
“Lessons of Chernobyl--20 Years After: A Case Study of Community Trauma” at Forum on Domestic Disaster Ministry sponsored by Church World Service at Princeton Theological Seminary (2006)
“Apocalyptic Interpretations of 9/11" at the Center for Millennial Studies Seventh International Academic Conference on Millennialism, Boston University (2002)
“The Fifth Trumpet: Apocalyptic Interpretations of 9/11" in the Millennialism Studies Group of National American Academy of Religion (2002)
"The Meaning of Chernobyl: Assessing the Psychosocial Impact of the World's Worst Nuclear Accident" in the Religion and Ecology section of American Academy of Religion (1994)
“CCCP: Screening, Referral and Treatment of Thyroid and Psychological Pathologies in Adolescents in Ukraine” Chernobyl Round Table, Russian, Eastern Europe and Central Asia Studies Center (REECAS), University of Washington (2001)
“Nuclear Doomsday: Global Apocalypse Averted” at the Center for Millennial Studies Fifth International Academic Conference, Boston University (2000)
“Time and Calendars in Russian Apocalyptic Eschatology” in the Millennialism Studies Group of National American Academy of Religion (1999)
“The Romantic Theology of C. S. Lewis” at the Wheaton Theology Conference: Returning Theology to the Masses: A Reappraisal of C. S. Lewis. Wheaton, IL (1998)
“The Russian Idea of Apocalypse: Nikolai Berdyaev’s Theory of Russian Cultural Apocalyptic” at the Center for Millennial Studies Third International Academic Conference, Boston University (1998)
“Theosis and Perfection: What Happens to Persons in a Postmodern Era” at the Wesleyan Center for Twenty-First Century Studies, Point Loma Nazarene College (1997)
“The World After Chernobyl: Social Impact and Christian Response” at the 5th Crossroads Conference on Faith and Public Policy, Eastern College, PA (1997)
"Chernobyl Community Trauma: A new diagnosis for technological disaster" in the Socio-Psychological Problems of the Chernobyl Disaster Section of the Third International Congress: The World After Chernobyl, Minsk, Belarus (1996)
"Apocalyptic Interpretations of Chernobyl" at the Religious Round Table, hosted by Metropolitan Phileret of Minsk, Third International Congress: The World After Chernobyl, Minsk, Belarus (1996)
“The Chernobyl Prophecy” in the Millennialism Studies Group, American Academy of Religion (1996)
"Individuation and Theosis: Jung's Reconstruction of an Ancient Christian Theme" at the Religion, Person and Culture area of 1995 American Academy of Religion (1995)
"Theosis and Sanctification: John Wesley's Reformulation of a Patristic Doctrine" at the Wesleyan Theological Society Annual Meeting (1995).
Respondent, Eastern Europe and Former USSR Concerns consultation, American Academy of Religion (1994)
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"Faith-Based Approaches to Ending AIDS", Symposium, Drew College of Liberal Arts (December, 2009)
"Thomas C. Oden: A Retrospective" delivered at his Retirement Colloquium, Drew Theological School (2004)
"Theosis and Sanctification: John Wesley's Reformulation of a Patristic Idea” at the International Academic Conference on Theosis sponsored by the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies (2004)
“Insights from World’s Worst Nuclear Accident and Implications for Next Radiological Disaster” Chernobyl Symposium (2003)
“Questions from Below and Answers from Above: The Prophetic Vision of Henri Nouwen”, The Inaugural Lecture of The Henri J. M. Nouwen Lectures in Classical Christian Spirituality, Caspersen School of Graduate Studies (2001)
“The Wormwood Star as Apocalyptic Marker of the End of an Age” Aquinas Seminar (2000)
Tipple-Vosburgh Lectures on “The Life and Work of Henri J. M. Nouwen” Drew University (1997)
"Global Youth Culture" Drew Summer Lecture Series (1997)
"Chernobyl Update--10th Anniversary" university lecture sponsored by Russian Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts (1996).
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"Communities of Shalom and Strategic Planning", Point Loma Nazarene University (2011)
“Theology and Practice of Shalom” at School of Officer Training, Salvation Army (2008)
“The Spirituality of the Heart" for the Windows on the World series at Eastern University, Philadelphia (2004)
“C. S. Lewis on Scripture: A Challenge to Biblical Inerrancy” at Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina (2002)
”The Effulgence, Confluence and Effluence of the River of God Reflected in the Ganges”
“Commemorating Chernobyl: What Have We Learned, How Shall We Live?” Seattle Pacific University (2001)
“Circuit Riding in the 21st Century: New Technology for Christian Education” at the Second International Conference of the Korean Society for Christian Education and Information Technology, Yonsei University, South Korea (2001)
“Eschatological Time: The Mystery of Kairos” Hoseo University, Korea (1999)
"Exegesis of Russian Youth Culture" Princeton Youth Forum, Princeton Theological Seminary, School of Christian Education (1997)
"Relief Work in Byelorussia" at the Chernobyl Symposium, sponsored by California Committee to Aid Ukraine and University of California at Berkeley (1991)[+] back to top
Guest Lecturer at Colleges and Universities
"Apocalyptic Eschatology: Rapture Culture and the End of the World Scenerios" at Interweave Center, Summit, NJ (2011)
"Planet Narnia and Medieval Cosmology: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis" at Interweave Center, Summit, NJ (2010)
Communities of Shalom presentations at Urban Ministry Conclave, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, United Methodist Church (2009); "Soaring High" Cooperative Ministries National Conference, Huntsville, AL.; and General Board of Global Ministries International Training Week in Stoney Point, NY (2009)
“Henri Nouwen on Spiritual Formation: Moving From the House of Fear to the House of Love” at Interweave Center for Renewal (2008)
“Beyond the Da Vinci Code: The Search for Lost Christianity” at Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Bangor, PA (2006)
“Give Me that Primordial Time Religion: The Spirituality of the Heart” at Interweave Center for Holistic Living, Summit, NJ (2006)
“The Da Vinci Code: Separating Fact, Fiction and Supposition at 14th Annual Convocation, Center for Theological and Spiritual Development at College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ (2006)
"Beyond Belief to Religion of the Heart" at Interweave Center for Wellness, Summit, NJ (2004)
“Charles Williams and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” at Interweave Center for Renewal (2004)
“Return of the Prodigal Son: A Study in Reconciliation” at Neshaminy-Warwick Presbyterian Church, Hartsville, PA (2003)
“The Theology of C. S. Lewis and the Inklings” at Ocean Grove (2002, 2003, 2004)
“Mornings with Leonardo: The Artist, the Book and the Da Vinci Code”—a 5-week mini-course co-sponsored by Drew Office of Continuing Education and Madison Public Library (2004)
“The Journey of Henri Nouwen” keynote address for Henri Nouwen Day at St. Luke’s UMC, Indianapolis, Indiana (2002)
“Pneumatology: The Role of the Spirit in the Book of Revelation” Center for Christian Studies, The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (2002)
“Forgiveness 101: A Lenten Retreat” at Ocean Grove (2002)
“The Samaritan’s Imperative Today: Combining Charity with Justice” with William Sloane Coffin at the Center for Scriptural Studies, Manchester, VT (2002)
“Three Streams in the River of God: A Theology of Renewal”, The Russell King Lectures, Bay View Chautauqua, Bay View, Michigan (2001)
“Apocalyptic Options: Millennialism in Preaching and Practical Theology” Fellowship of Learning, the Annual Pastors’ School of the Nebraska United Methodist Annual Conference, (2000)
“Praying with Icons” workshop at Companions on the Sacred Journey Conference, Princeton University (2000)
“Equipping the Saints: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry” workshops at Morristown UMC; and at The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Center for Christian Studies, New York. (2000)
Nouwen Series (spiritual retreats or continuing education events focused on the Spirituality of Henri Nouwen at the following host sites: Morristown UMC; Northern New Jersey Annual Conference “Ministry to Ministers” Retreat; Corpus Christi (R.C.) Church in Manhattan; United Church of Christ of Dudley, MA; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown; Community Congregational Church, Short Hills, NJ; Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Bangor, PA; Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, NJ; St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Gladstone, NJ. (2000)
Respondent to John Eudes Bamberger: “Living with God in Modern America” Annual Thomas Merton Conference, sponsored by Corpus Christi Church, the Archdiocesan Center for Spiritual Development and the Henri Nouwen Society, New York (2000)
“The Silent Life: Merton and Nouwen as Brothers” Annual Merton Conference, sponsored by Corpus Christi Church, the Archdiocesan Center for Spiritual Development and the Henri Nouwen Society, New York (2001)
"Developing Retreats for the Laity," The 4th Harry Emerson Fosdick Preaching and Worship Convocation, The Riverside Church, New York (1997)
“C. S. Lewis on Scripture” Pastors School, California/Nevada Annual Conference, United Methodist Church (1992)
“The Samaritans’ Imperative: AIDS Ministry” Pastors’ School, California/Nevada Annual Conference, United Methodist Church (1992)
“City Streets, City People: Ministry with the Homeless” Missions School, California/Nevada Annual Conference, United Methodist Church (1992)[+] back to top
Planned, hosted and facilitated 2009 Shalom National Summit, Columbia, SC. Theme: "Stepping Up from Social Services to Systemic Transformation", sponsored by Drew University and the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC.
Planned, hosted and facilitated 12 national conferences for Drew in off-site locations on the following topics: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry, The New Face of Urban Ministry, Church-Based Community Development, Community and Congregational Revitalization Through Change Leadership, Holiness in the Third Millennium, The Year of Jubilee, and Revivalism in American History, War and Peace in the Wesleyan Tradition, Women’s Preaching and Social Reform, Faith in Film in Popular Culture, and Native American Spirituality: Cherokee Land, Culture, History and Religion.[+] back to top
Recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award for significant and outstanding lifetime accomplishments in a profession or in service to a charitable or non-profit organization, Point Loma Nazarene University (2006)
Recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel Humanitarian Award for Spirituality and Social Justice, Drew University (1998)
Recipient of The Helen LePage and William Hale Chamberlain Prize awarded for the Ph.D. dissertation that is singularly distinguished by creative thought and excellent prose style, Drew University (1997)
Elected to "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities" (Point Loma College, 1977 and Drew University, 1995)
Alumnus of Point Loma Award, Point Loma Nazarene University (1984)[+] back to top
Training grant, World Childrens Fund for design and implementation of the Pastoral and Congregational Care Training (PACCT) program related to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and pastoral care in Malawi, Africa (CitiHope International,2006-2007)
Participant in Henri Nouwen Oral History Project focused on Nouwen's academic career at Yale and Harvard, funded by the Louisville Institute (Henri Nouwen Society, 2004-2005)
Subgrant, UMCOR Family Coping Seminars curriculum development and professional trainings in response to mental health needs in the aftermath of September 11(Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, 2002).
Subgrant, USAID Chernobyl Childhood Illness Program--a four million dollar USAID cooperative agreement to support medical and mental health training in Ukraine (1998-2001)
Senior Research Scholar for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, The Princeton Project on Youth, Globalization and the Church, Princeton Theological Seminary Institute on Youth Ministry (1998-2001)
Research Fellowship, Newark Project--two-year stipend for research and analysis of urban models of community development in Newark’s Central Ward (Drew University, 1994-1995)
Crossroads Scholar's Program (sponsored by Evangelicals for Social Action and the Center for Public Justice)--research stipend for writing public policy monograph on nuclear issues in former Soviet Union (1994-1996)
Will Herberg Merit Scholarship--full tuition scholarship and living stipend for four years (Drew University, 1993-1996)
John Wesley Fellowship--living stipend for four years (A Foundation for Theological Education, 1993-97)[+] back to top
Director of Shalom Initiative at Drew University, responsible for national training program in Asset-Based Community Development and coordination of Communities of Shalom international network in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Drew Theological School, responsible for program design, curricular development and administration of six DMIN concentrations over 12 year period: Global/Online Leadership Development; Congregational Growth and Development; Pastoral Care and Counseling; Hispanic Leadership and Ministry Development; Worship, Spirituality and Preaching; and Ecological Ministries. Additional academic and administrative functions:
Founded WorldHope Corps, Inc.--an international nonprofit organization focused on disaster relief and community development work, including food and medical aid, orphan care, village well projects, and educational empowerment of youth in Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Haiti, and the Chernobyl-contaminated region of Belarus.
Served as Africa Regional Director for new program development in Malawi, for CitiHope International during sabbatical from Drew University. Made seven trips to Malawi to oversee food and medical aid programs and launch new AIDS education initiative called PACCT.
Conducted community mental health and traumatology training in Belarus, Ukraine, Macedonia/Kosovo, and in New Jersey following September 11 disaster.
Led annual short-term mission trips in Taiwan, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Europe, Belarus, Ukraine (17 trips to Chernobyl region), Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Kosovo, India, and Malawi.
Testified before the Human Rights Caucus of the United States Congress during the 8th anniversary of Chernobyl (1994), eventually resulting in a four-million dollar USAID relief project for Ukraine.
Served as Senior Consultant, Chernobyl Childhood Illness Recovery Program, and Project Manager, Chernobyl Mental Health Project-Ukraine, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)--a three-year, four-million dollar Congressionally-mandated, cooperative agreement (1998-2001).
Participated in cross-cultural travel and religious study trips in Korea, Singapore, India, Nepal, Tibet, Wales, Ethiopia.[+] back to top
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Writing, travel, wine-making, pond-gazing, photography and multimedia projects
Commissioned Children’s Chernobyl Artwork in from contaminated region of Belarus (1999), exhibited at Capital National Children’s Museum, Washington D.C., at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters, New Brunswick, and at Drew University, Madison, NJ.
Produced and promoted special events, benefit concerts, rallies, fund raising banquets, seminars and retreats in New York and San Francisco, including a major fund-raising concert and multi-media presentation at Carnegie Hall.[+] back to top