City, Community, and Purity: Mormonismâ€™s Evolution of Zionism and Place
AbstractPlace is fundamental to societyâ€™s conception of community, both secular and religious. This paper examines and contrasts two such communities, Judaism and Mormonism, in the context of political and religious Zionism. It first introduces and explores communities of place in political theory in general. Jewish Zionism, a political and religious movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the role that place has played in this movement, are briefly examined. The concept of Zion within Mormon theology is then discussed, tracing its evolution within Mormonism of being, in turn, a literal city and theocratic nation-state, a community of like-minded believers, and personal spiritual purity. Finally, the adherent changes in the concept of place within Mormon community are outlined, and reasons for these changes are proposed.
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