Ralph Lerner is the Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus in the College and Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
His books include The Founders’ Constitution (co-edited with Philip B. Kurland), The Thinking Revolutionary: Principle and Practice in the New Republic, Revolutions Revisited: Two Faces of the Politics of Enlightenment, and Maimonides’ Empire of Light: Popular Enlightenment in an Age of Belief. He is the author, most recently, of Naïve Readings: Reveilles Political and Philosophic.
He attended public school in Chicago, received his degrees in political science at the University of Chicago, and had a year of post-graduate study of medieval Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. He has served in the U.S. Army. All of his teaching has been at the University of Chicago, apart from visiting appointments at Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard universities and a visiting lectureship at the Institut Raymond Aron. He has received fellowship awards from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Humanities Center. He has received a Quantrell Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.