Religious Naturalism

For centuries, it has seemed to many that we must choose between the realism of a secular worldview and the comforts of a religious worldview. But what if we could have both? Suppose we combined the idea that nature is probably all there is (“naturalism”) with communities and practices designed to invoke awe, reverence, and spiritual uplift (“religions”). Can we dispense with questionable claims about supernatural agency and still help people connect with something larger than themselves? What would that look like? Are there real-world examples of this phenomenon? Do they “work” for people? Can a thoroughly naturalistic worldview satisfy people’s need for connection, meaning, and transcendence? If not, why not? If so, why—and more importantly, how? And should the result of such efforts be classified as a kind of religion?