The Art of the Question

Cook School of Intercultural Studies

About this Course

You know where you are in the United States or the world based on how people ask questions. Questions are tools used in particular ways. We police (protect) questions in certain ways. We assume that certain people must ask certain types of questions. At the same time, the ability to ask a question aligns with confusing concepts such as social class or status. For many of us, the communities we come from have been defined by our inability to ask questions (to have our questions heard), as well as the powerful ability for people in power (or people who are seeking power) to make their questions important. In light of this, this course is offered as an anthropological introduction to “The Art of the Question”. The intention of this course is to assess what it means to ask a question so that we may see how the actions, abilities, and decisions to formulate questions are tied to the human needs that we are tasked with resolving as Christians. 

At the end of our journey, you will understand how asking questions is intimately connected to our understanding of how people live in the world. You will have learned how to ask questions as a key method for addressing deep political, environmental, racial, and religious situations. You will also have come to understand that questions must be treated with care and intentionality, for they are powerful tools to help humanity live out God’s plan for us on earth.

This course features the teachings of Dr. David Shane Lowry, Associate Professor of Anthropology at The Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University. In this course you will receive: 

  • Video lectures by Dr. Lowry to unpack the significance of asking questions 
  • Reflection questions to help you process what you learned in the videos
  • Fieldwork experiment assignments to help you apply your learning to your own life