Robert E. Lerner is an American medieval historian and professor of history emeritus at Northwestern University.
Lerner gained his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1964, where he studied with Joseph R. Strayer.
Lerner has specialised in medieval heresy and millennial eschatology, as well as writing on a variety of topics in medieval religious and intellectual history. His major monographs are The Heresy of the Free Spirit in the Later Middle Ages, The Powers of Prophecy, and The Feast of Saint Abraham.
Prominent among his articles are the widely cited â€œRefreshment of the Saintsâ€ and â€œEcstatic Dissentâ€. In addition, he was the co-author of a best-selling Western Civilization textbook, a work translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.
Lerner is a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and the American Academy in Rome. In the course of his career he has received honours and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Historisches Kolleg in Munich, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and the Max-Planck Gesellschaft of the Federal Republic of Germany.