Geoff Barstow first encountered Tibetan Buddhism in 1999, while on a study abroad trip in college. Since that time, the study of Tibetan religion, history, and culture has been the focus of his professional life. He has spent more than six years conducting research in Nepal, China, and Tibet. That research focuses on the history of vegetarianism on the Tibetan plateau, asking questions about how animals were viewed, how they were treated (ie: eaten), what that can tell us about Tibetan Buddhism, and how Buddhist ideas about animal ethics might impact broader philosophical discussions. As a teacher, his courses emphasize various aspects of Buddhist religious thought, but also seek to explore how those ideas have been lived and experienced by actual Buddhists.
2019. Editor. The Faults of Meat: Tibetan Buddhist Writings on Vegetarianism. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
2018. Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet. New York: Columbia University Press.
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
2021. “A Case for Vegetarianism.” Voices from Larung Gar. Ed. Holly Gayley and Jann Ronis. Boston: Wisdom.
2020. “Skillful Memories: Recalling the Traumatic Past in the Life of Tangla Tsewang.” Conflicting Memories: Post-Mao Retellings of Early Tibetan Encounters with the Chinese Communist Party. Eds. Benno Weiner, Françoise Robin, and Robbie Barnett. Leiden: Brill: 547-570.
2019. “Monastic Meat: The Question of Meat Eating and Vegetarianism in Tibetan Buddhist Monastic Guidelines (bca’ yig).” Religions, no 10(4): N.p.
2019. “On the Moral Standing of Animals in Tibetan Buddhism.” Études mongoles & sibériennes, centrasiatiques & tibétaines, no 50: N.p.
2017. “A Necessary Evil: Shardza Tashi Gyeltsen's Advice on Eating Meat.” Buddhist Luminaries: Inspired Advice by Nineteenth-Century Ecumenical Masters in Eastern Tibet. Eds. Holly Gayley and Josh Shapeiro. Boston: Wisdom.
2013. “Between Abstinence and Indulgence: Vegetarianism in the Life and Works of Jigmé Lingpa.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 20: 73-104.
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