An actor playing Jesus recreates his crucifixtion while performing in The Passion of Jesus at Trafalgar Square in London, April 3, 2015. REUTERS/SUZANNE PLUNKETT

Theology students at a prestigious U.K. university were warned they may witness disturbing images when reading about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The University of Glasgow in Scotland introduced the ‘trigger warnings’ for students taking the class "Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible (Level 1)."

Students were warned during a lecture about Christ that it “contains graphic scenes of crucifixion.” The university also issued similar warnings to students of veterinary science, saying they would be working with dead animals. The school’s Contemporary Society students were warned they would discuss illness and violence.

Critics said the university took the concept of trigger warnings too far. Trigger warnings were introduced to warn people of content that could trigger emotional distress. In certain cases, students are allowed to leave the lecture and professors are instructed to check up on the student later in the day.

The university, however, defended its actions, saying they were aimed at protecting students’ mental health.

“We have an absolute duty of care to all of our students and where it is felt course material may cause potential upset or concern, warnings may be given,” a spokesperson for the University of Glasgow reportedly said.

University of Glasgow isn’t alone. Strathclyde University, also located in Glasgow, introduced warnings to students enrolled in the school’s forensic science course. The students were given a “verbal warning at the beginning of some lectures where sensitive images, involving blood patterns, crime scenes and bodies are in the presentation.”

In Scotland’s Stirling University, archaeology and gender studies students were issued similar warnings, British media reported. Archaeology students were warned in advance they would see a picture of a well-preserved human body, just in case they found the image “a bit gruesome.”

“We cannot anticipate or exclude the possibility that you may encounter material which is triggering [i.e., which can trigger a negative reaction] and we urge that you take all necessary precautions to look after yourself in and around the program,” the school warned its gender studies students.

Liz Smith, a member of the Scottish parliament and shadow cabinet education secretary, called the warnings “ridiculous.”

“Universities are meant to be a place of learning where concepts are challenged and tricky subjects debated,” she reportedly said. “That will become increasingly difficult if they go too far out of their way to ensure everything survives the politically correct test. Some of the examples set out here are patently ridiculous.”


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