Student’s photo exhibition on Indian religion in new Lakeside Dining Hall

Jainism, an influential and ancient Indian religion with more than 4 million followers, has received relatively little scholarly consideration and the attention it has received has too often disproportionately focused on the religion’s monks and nuns, while largely ignoring the great majority of Jains who practice at the lay level.

In an effort to respond to these asymmetries, Brett Evans ’13 created a photo exhibition of images drawn from his fieldwork on Jains in India that is now on display in the new Lakeside Dining Hall. His exhibition highlights images of lay Jains and juxtaposes these with more traditional images of monastics and sacred structures. It will be on display in the space between Freshii and the mail center throughout spring semester.

Evans is a Religious Studies major and both an Elon College Fellow and a Lumen Scholar. Under the guidance of his mentor, Assistant Professor Amy Allocco, he has focused his undergraduate research on Jainism, studying abroad twice in India for a total of seven months. During his time in India, Evans lived with a Jain family for three months in the state of Tamil Nadu, and he conducted two months of ethnographic research with Jain communities in the state of Gujarat.

He has published two papers about his research on Jainism, and has been accepted to present papers at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) and National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) this spring.