[F]OOD FOR THOUGHT:
I usually position this question within intellectual history as the sequence:
(a) anthropomorphism / narrative oral tradition / hunter gathering / Shamans vs Warriors / Tribalism
(b) theism / writing / agrarianism / Temple and Church Bureaucracy vs Warriors / Tribal Unificationism
(c) moralism (rationalism) and modernism / printing / capitalism / State/Temple-Merchant-State shared power / State Formation.
(d) postmodern propaganda, pseudoscience and innumeracy / mass media, democratic secular socialist humanism / industrialism / State-Academy-Media against Warrior and Merchant Class and absent Temple class / (new world order formation???)
(e) scientific / digital zero-distribution-cost / (worldwide search yet unfound???) / information era / (power structure still emerging but swinging toward authoritarian capitalism) / (new order formation – looks like return to higher tribalism? Nationalism?)
I agree that ‘religion’ is with us to stay, but religion requires shared belief in a falsehood, for purposes of cooperating and organizing – usually as a resistance movement against human discretion and hubris.
We know that religious experience (spirituality) is caused by the pack-response (submission to the pack). We know that religions and cults must be costly for members, to survive their initial members.
We know that religions are advantageous for members in establishing limits of rule, moral norms, and metaphysical value judgements. For example, the TED movement is considered by many to be a postmodern church, and each lecture no different from a Sermon from the Pulpit, where technology and will provide the promise of salvation.
We know that postmodernism is a religious revolt against the meritocratic unpleasantness of science. We know that evangelical christianity is a revolt against the secular state. (and it works).
But where does this lead us? I have been working on this problem for a while now and I am struggling with it.