Trinity College, Dublin have been criticised after deciding to remove a depiction of the bible from their 422-year-old crest, with one graduate calling it “political correctness gone totally mad”.
The college decided to remove the bible as part of a rebranding initiative and replace it with an “open book”. A college memo says that the change will “create a more forward-looking image” and the new book will “signify the tradition of scholarship which should be accessible to all.”
The college had previous told students and staff that it would keep the bible, along the other traditional symbols of the lion, castle and harp.
The traditional crest of shows a clasped bible at the centre
Graduate the Rev Dr William Morton, dean of the Church of Ireland cathedral in Londonderry told the Belfast Newsletter that the change was “political correctness gone totally mad”. He added: “I am justifiably proud to have been a Trinity graduate, but this decision to remove the Bible from the insignia is extremely regrettable.
“It flies in the face of the whole history and tradition of TCD as an ancient seat of learning. It is like not being able to put up a Christmas tree in case of offending ethnic groups. It is absolutely ridiculous.”
Another Church of Ireland cleric who studied at the college, the Dean of Belfast the Rev Dr Houston McKelvey said: “The irony of a college dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity being reluctant to have a Bible on its crest is beyond even the celebrated Dean Jonathan Swift’s satirical capability.”
The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 to provide place to train Protestant clergy in a mainly Catholic country. Its full name is the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.