Traherne Online Research Network

Detail of Brasenose College from David Loggan, Oxonia Illustrata
Detail of manuscript of Select Meditations, III.83


The Oxford Traherne edition, under its general editor Dr Julia Smith, has recently set up a Traherne Online Research Network. Scholars working on Traherne are widely scattered, and do not often have the opportunity either to hear about current research, or to talk about their own work with other Traherne experts. The online research network facilitates this, and is also building up a community of scholars in advance of the 350th anniversary of Traherne’s death in 2024, which will help to raise his profile with other scholars and with students.


The Traherne Online Research Network meets regularly 3 times a year (October, January, April) via Zoom to listen to and discuss a short research paper, and to raise research queries. You do not need to be an academic researcher to attend the seminars, and students and others interested in Traherne are very welcome.

 Our next meetings are as follows:

Thursday 18 April 2024, 5.00 p.m. London time (BST): Professor Gary Kuchar, University of Victoria, 'The Baptismal Spirituality of Thomas Traherne's Commentaries of Heaven'

Thursday 13 June 2024, 5.00 p.m. London time (BST): Professor Timothy Harrison, University of Chicago, leads a close reading and discussion of the article on ‘Apprehension’ from Commentaries of Heaven and the poem ‘The Apprehension’ from the Dobell Folio.

This is the first session of our new Traherne reading group.


Thursday 31 October 2024: Thomas Traherne 350 Online Symposium

To commemorate the 350th anniversary of Thomas Traherne’s death, the Traherne Online Research Network is holding an online symposium on Thursday 31 October 2024.

The symposium will begin at 2.00 p.m. GMT, and will end at 8.30 p.m. GMT, which we hope will accommodate colleagues from a wide range of time zones. It will consist of three spaced 1½ hour sessions, each containing three short papers.

Papers are invited on any aspect of Traherne, including his works, thought, context, life, manuscripts, early printing, and reception history. Papers will last for no more than 15 minutes, and will each be allocated 15 minutes for discussion.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 30 April 2024. Please send a proposal of no more than 150 words to Dr Julia Smith ( Decisions on the symposium programme will be made by the beginning of June.


Your suggestions are welcomed as to how else the network can encourage the exchange of ideas on Traherne.

To join the mailing list for the network, to receive the Zoom link for a seminar, or to offer a paper, please contact Dr Julia Smith.


Previous seminar papers

26 October 2023    Professor Sarah Hutton, University of York, '”I need not treat of Vertues in the ordinary way”: Ordinary and un-ordinary discussion of virtue in Traherne’s Christian Ethicks

18 January 2024    Dr Thomas Clifton, Coventry University, ‘Recontextualizing Verse and Thought in Thomas Traherne’s Centuries of Meditations and his Works’


  • Left image: Detail of Brasenose College, from David Loggan, Oxonia Illustrata (Oxford, 1675): courtesy of Yale Center for British Art
  • Right image: Osborn MS b308, p. 159 (‘Select Meditations’, III.83): The James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University