Master of The Temple
Robin Griffith-Jones is the Reverend and Valiant Master of the Temple at the Temple Church, and a Senior Lecturer in Theology at King’s College London. His chief care is for those who work or live in the Temple, the services of the Church, and its roles in the life of the Temple, London and the nation through the 850 years of its history to the present day.
Robin worked at the auctioneers Christies on leaving Oxford in 1978. After working, 1984-6, with Mother Theresa’s Sisters in India and with the long-term homeless in London, Robin studied theology in Cambridge. He served as Curate (assistant minister) in outer Liverpool, 1989-92 and as Chaplain at Lincoln College, Oxford University, 1992-9. Robin was appointed Master of the Temple in 1999.
Robin has published widely on the New Testament, and on law and religion and architectural history. His books on the New Testament and early Christendom are The Four Witnesses (about the gospels,2000), The Gospel according to Paul (2004), The Da Vinci Code and the Secrets of the Temple (2006), and Mary Magdalene (2008, with the title Beloved Disciple in the USA). All are available through amazon.com. Robin admits wryly that his little book on The Da Vinci Code has sold more copies than will ever be sold of all his other books together!
The Temple Church is famous as ‘the mother-church of the Common Law’. Robin ran the public discussions on Islam and English Law which began with the then Archbishop of Canterbury’s famous lecture on sharia law in the UK. Robin edited the consequent book, Islam and English Law (2013).
The Temple played a central role in the gestation of Magna Carta, and in the spread of the Charter’s principles to America and throughout the world. In the Temple Church itself, in use by 1162, are the effigies of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke and hero of Runnymede, and of his son the 2nd Earl, one of the Charter’s Surety Barons. Robin co-edited Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law (2015), edited and produced the widely-read booklet Magna Carta, 1215-2015 and curated the Magna Carta exhibition that is still on show at the Temple Church.
The Temple Church itself is one of London’s famously historic and beautiful churches; its Round Church is modelled on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Robin co-edited The Temple Church: History, Architecture, Art (2013) and Tomb and Temple: Re-Imagining the Sacred Buildings of Jerusalem (2017).