Differ though we might with Christianity’s view of what precisely our souls need, it is hard to discredit the provocative underlying thesis, which seems no less relevant in the secular realm than in the religious one–that we have within us a precious, childlike, vulnerable core which we should nourish and nurture on its turbulent journey through life.

Technologies of the soul tend to be simple, bodily, slow and related to the heart as much as the mind. Everything around us tells us we should be mechanically sophisticated, electronic, quick, and informational in our expressiveness – an exact antipode to the virtues of the soul. It is no wonder, then, that in an age of telecommunications – which, by the way, literally means “distant connections” – we suffer symptoms of the loss of soul. We are being urged from every side to become efficient rather than intimate.