Master of The Temple
Robin Griffith-Jones 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; at Oxford he was also College Lecturer in Theology for Exeter College. He is now a Visiting Lecturer in New Testament Studies at King’s College, London.
Robin was appointed Master of the Temple in 1999. Apart from the Temple Church itself, his chief interest is in the New Testament. He has written four books: 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, most recently, Mary Magdalene (2008, with the title Beloved Disciple in the USA). All are available through amazon.com.
Robin has worked extensively on law and religion. The Temple Church is the collegiate church of the two legal colleges or Inns of Court, Inner and Middle Temple; it is famous as ‘the mother-church of the Common Law’. He arranged and curated an exhibit in the Church on German-Jewish lawyers persecuted under the Third Reich. He 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, and edited the consequent book.
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 is active in the UK’s preparations for the celebration of Magna Carta; his booklet, Magna Carta, 1215-2015: London’s Temple and the Road to the Rule of Law has been widely read. He ran the international conference on Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law at the Temple in June 2014, and is co-editing the book. In November 2014 he took the Temple Church Choir to Washington DC for the opening and the gala of the Library of Congress Magna Carta Exhibit.