Modernist theories of nationalism include an approach called ethnosymbolism which proposes that proto-nations or ‘ethnies’ are seedbeds for the development of nations. While an ethnie may a precursor to a nation, they are not a perfect predictor. To develop into a nation an ethnie would have to master common economy, legal structures and reproduce a mass cultural identity. Mormonism demonstrates some of the key theoretical concepts that identify an ethnie: a mythomoteur, a golden-age, a territorial homeland, and a messianic mission. Mormonism, as a cultural ethnie, will be reviewed with emphasis on convergence and divergence with ethnosymbolist principles.
G. Campbell Macnaughton