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Cyprian Love

General Information

Andrew Cyprian Love is a Benedictine monk of Glenstal Abbey. He is a theologian, musicologist and organist. His doctoral work at the University of Hull, England, was on aspects of the music/theology dialogue, arguing for a symbolic relationship between liturgical spontaneity and eschatology. This theoretical interest finds practical expression in his praxis of pipe organ improvisation in the liturgy of Glenstal Abbey. He has also composed and is a pianist.

From 2005 to 2009 he ran the Sophia Europa Local Society Initiative at Glenstal Abbey funded by the The Metanexus Institute in association with the Centre for Culture, Technology & Values, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

He has recorded several CDs on the Glenstal Abbey organ, including two of standard repertoire, and two of improvisations. He has given organ recitals in England, Ireland, Hungary and Poland, including one inaugurating the restored organ of Adam and Eve, Merchants Quay, Dublin in 1996, another in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, and one in the Summer Series at St. Michael's Dub Laoghaire. He adjudicated the instrumental section of the Feile Luimni in 2007.

He has lectured at Mary Immaculate College in Liturgy and in Christology. Dissertation supervisions have been in various areas including liturgy and childhood development; popular music and Christian culture; John Henry Newman’s fiction; the sermons of Rowan Williams.

He is currently collaborating with Professor Roberto Poli of the University of Trento, Italy, on a Handbook of Anticipation, specifically the theological aspects of anticipation.


  • Love, Cyprian.  “Justification and Communion.”  One in Christ 32, no. 3 (1996): 247-262.
  • Love Cyprian.  “Charles Tournemire, Musical Improvisation and the Teleology of Imagining.”  Worship 72, no. 4 (July 1998): 316-329.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Charles Tournemire: A Study in Spontaneity and the Theology of the Catholic Liturgy.”  In Anáil Dé: The Breath of God.  Music, Ritual and Spirituality.  Edited by Helen Phelan.  Dublin: Veritas, 2001.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Praying the Liturgy.”  Doctrine and Life 52, no. 9 (Nov. 2002): 538-549.
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian.  Musical Improvisation, Heidegger and the Liturgy: A Journey to the Heart of Hope (New York and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2003). Reviewed in Spirituality and Health International 4, no 4 (Dec 2003): 46-47. Johanna Alberti; Reviewed in American Benedictine Review 55, no 3 (Sept 2004): 350-352.  George Seidel; Reviewed in British Journal of Music Therapy 18, no. 2 (2004): 78-79.  Jane Edwards; Reviewed in British Journal of Music Therapy 19, no. 1 (2005): 20-28. Gary Ansdell; Reviewed in Currents and Theology and Mission, June (2008). Mark Bangert
  • Love, Cyprian.  “What is Catholic Identity?”  Spirituality 10, no. 55 (Jul – Aug 2004): 243-245.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Music as Liturgical Revelation.”  Irish Theological Quarterly 69, no. 3 (2004): 225-238.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Inclusive Language in the Liturgy.”  The Furrow 56, no. 1 (Jan 2005): 13-18.
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian. “Turtles All the Way Down: The Axial Role of Improvisation in Music.” The Journal of Music in Ireland (March-April 2005): 25-28.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Contextualizing Silence.”  The American Benedictine Review 56, no 2 (June 2005): 152-166.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Spontaneity in the Liturgy.”  Worship 79, no 6 (November 2005), 536-543.
  • Love, Cyprian. “At Home or Away: Where Should the ‘Juniors’ Study?”  Religious Life Review 45, no. 238 (May/June 2006): 187-191. 
  • Love, Andrew.  “Improvising Their Future: Shamanic Hope in Ives, Schoenberg, Cage, Cardew, Rzewski and Messiaen.” Tempo: A Quarterly Review of Modern Music 60, no. 237 (July 2006): 24-32.  
  • Love, Cyprian. “Glenstal Abbey, Music and the Liturgical Movement.”  Studies in World Christianity: The Edinburgh Review of Theology and Religion 12, no. 2 (2006): 126-141. 
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Musical Improvisation and Eschatology: A Study of Liturgical Organist Charles Tournemire (1870-1939).”  Worship 81, no. 3 (May 2007): 227-249. 
  • Love, Cyprian. “Liturgical Spontaneity as Eschatological Rhetoric.”  Irish Theological Quarterly 73, no. 1-2 (2008): 87-98. 
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian.  “Process and Product in Theology and Musical Aesthetics: Improvisation as Interdisciplinary Topos.”  Nineteenth-Century Music Review 5, no. 1 (2008); 47-65. 
  • Love, Cyprian.  “What should a Benedictine Abbot be like?”  Religious Life Review 47, no 253 (Nov/Dec 2008): 342-347. 
  • Love, Cyprian.  “God’s Grace in Liturgy and Life.”  Spirituality 15, no. 83 (March –April 2009): 99-103. 
  • Love, Cyprian. “Liturgy as Mystery Presence: A Contemporary Catholic Understanding.”  The South African Baptist Journal of Theology 18 (2009): 246-256. 
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Christian Doctrine and Theories of Emergence.”  In Causality and Motivation, edited by Roberto Poli.  Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2010. 
  • Love, Cyprian. “Transforming Silence.”  Religious Life Review 49, no. 264 (Sept/Oct 2010): 305-310. 
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian.  “Ordning och spontanitet: improvisation som eskatologi.” Interview with Henrik Tobin.  Kyrkomusikernas Tidning (January 2011): 4-9. 
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Silence and Transcendence.”  The Downside Review 129, no. 454 (January 2011): 31-42.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Choosing Liturgical Music: Must We Always Know What We Are Doing?.”  Monastic Musicians Newsletter 32 (Summer 2011): 19-22.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Music and Faith.”  The Pastoral Review 9, no. 2 (March/April 2013): 24-29.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “On Not Proving the Existence of God.”  The Furrow 64, no. 10 (October 2013): 550-554.
  • Love, Cyprian.  “Divine and Human Creativity.”  Doctrine and Life 63, no 9 (November 2013): 30-43.
  • Love, Cyprian. "Dancing Before the Ark" Spirituality 21, no. 118 (January - February 2015): 18-20.
  • Love, Cyprian. "Atonement, Liturgy and Metaphor: Finding Meaning in Duality." Irish Theological Quarterly 81, no. 1 (2016): 55-73.
  • Love, Cyprian. "Music as Watching for Christ." Search: A Church of Ireland Journal 39, no. 3 (Autumn 2016): 218-224.
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian. "Anticipation and Eschatology." In Handbook of Anticipation: Theoretical and Applied Aspects of the Use of Future in Decision Making, edited by Roberto Poli. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International, 2017.


Book Reviews: 

  • Review of James McEvoy (ed) The Challenge of Truth: Reflections on ‘Fides et Ratio’ (Dublin: Veritas, 2002).  In Irish Theological Quarterly 69, no. 3 (2004): 302-303. 
  • Review of Oliva Blanchette, Philosophy of Being: A Reconstructive Essay in Metaphysics (Washington DC: Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2003).  In Irish Theological Quarterly 69, no. 4 (2004): 421-423. 
  • Review of David W. Fagerberg, Theologia Prima: What is Liturgical Theology? (Chicago/Mundelein, Illinois: Hillenbrand Books, 2004). In Irish Theological Quarterly 70, no 3 (2005): 303-304. 
  • Review of Don O’ Leary, Roman Catholicism and Modern Science: A History (New York: Continuum, 2006).  In Science and Christian Belief 21, no 1 (2009): 91-92. 
  • Review of Louis Caruana (ed.), Darwin and Catholicism: The Past and Present Dynamics of a Cultural Encounter (London: T & T Clark, 2009).  In Science and Christian Belief 22, no. 2 (2010): 180-181.


Musical recordings: 

  • Love, Andrew Cyprian.  Organist.  Organ Music from Glenstal Abbey.  CD recording. (SDGCD 604)
  • Reviewed in Choir and Organ, May/June 1997.   
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian.  Organist.  Dancing Before the Ark: Organ Improvisations from Glenstal Abbey.  CD recording (SDG Recordings).  
  • Love, Andrew Cyprian.  Organist.  Playing organ improvisations based on Gregorian chant, with Monks’ Choir of Glenstal Abbey directed by Paul Nash.  The Monks of Glenstal Abbey: Gregorian Chants.  CD recording (RTE CD 202).  
  • Love, Cyprian.  Organist.  Playing organ improvisations on CD Biscantorat: Sound of the Spirit from Glenstal Abbey.  2004 
  • Love, Cyprian.  Organist.  Playing Versets by Titelouze. Dies Domini: Sunday Prayer from Glenstal Abbey.  (Daisy dicd020). 
  • Love, Cyprian.  Organist. Musica Jubilans: Sounds of Glenstal. CD recording (SDGCD 646); Reviewed in Journal of Music in Ireland 7, no. 3 (May/June 2007); Reviewed in Cathedral Music 2/2007; Love, Cyprian (Organist) and Eoghan Neff (Irish Fiddle). Amalgamare: Improvisations from Glenstal Abbey. (2009)


Selected Presentations:

  • 23rd October, 2004.  Chaired morning session of RMA/AHRB/SOAS Conference “Improvisation in Musical Performance.”  Held at SOAS, Univ. of London.
  • 27th October, 2004. Guest Paper. Music Dept, University of Durham, “Eschatological Rhetoric: The Liturgical Organ Improvisations of Charles Tournemire.” 
  • 30th March 2005. Irish Theological Association Conference, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin. “Liturgical Spontaneity as Eschatological Rhetoric.”
  • 20th June 2006. Keynote Paper, “Process and Product in Theology and Musical Aesthetics.” RMA Postgraduate Conference, “Music and Theology: Making Connections.”  University of Durham.


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