In the Redwall book series, a lot of the action takes place in the Abbey. This, and the fact that the some characters are referred to as "Brother," "Friar" and "Abbot" would imply that it's a religious institution of some sort, mostly likely at least inspired by Christianity. There are Biblically-named characters like Methuselah and Asmodeus. There's also a mostly abandoned church and some characters are called churchmice.

Despite this, who or what they worship isn't made obvious, at least in the first novel.

Do any of the sequels, or Word of God, reveal which religion they belong to?

  • All the above references all just signify that the author is a Christian.
    – Private
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 16:15
  • It's never specified in the books which religion they follow, but it's certainly not a 1:1 copy of any real-life religions.
    – TylerH
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 18:25
  • 6
    Oh man, a Redwall question? I loved all those books, glad to see people are still interested in it after so long. Commented May 19, 2016 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


From The Unofficial Redwall FAQ:

Is there religion in Redwall?
No. Although the terms "abbey", "abbot" and "abbess" are usually associated with the Roman Catholic Church, Brian Jacques has said repeatedly that there is no religion in Redwall. He chose an abbey with an abbot or abbess instead of a castle with a king or queen because he wanted a friendly, peaceful place, not a fortress for war. The crosses or other religious imagery that may appear in some illustrations is the mistake of the artist(s). Redwall Abbey is simply a place of peace, friendship and good will, open to anyone.

From an interview on the official website:

The Redwallers live in an abbey, that means they must have a religion, what religion are the Redwallers?
There is no religion in my stories and no hidden meanings. What you see is what you get. The Abbey is just a place of peace and comradeship, where creatures choose to live together.


Why did you choose an Abbey instead of, say, a castle? Are there more of them in England?
I chose an abbey because it is a place of peace and tranquility, where ordinarily the cares of a busy and frantic world do not intrude.

Some readers have pointed out a "Saint Ninian's church" referenced in the text. If there is no religion, why would there be saints? However, Jacques apparently provided a later explanation for the seeming inconsistency:

According to a popular legend, the family of a Mossflower mouse named Ninian had grown too large for their abode, so Ninian decided to build a new home for them. However, he was so lazy that his wife performed most of the construction, prompting her to erect a sign saying "This Ain't Ninian's!". Generations of weathering eventually faded off the first three letters and the exclamation point, making the sign read "Saint Ninian's"; this reportedly caused the building, when it was rediscovered, to be mistaken for a church.

Personally, I think that the evidence seems to indicate that he started out with the framework of there being religion and then changed his mind, possibly around the same time that he started to downplay mentions of human-sized carts, milk, etc, but the Word of God (heh) from the author is that they do not worship anyone or anything because there is no religion.

  • 1
    Well, this makes some sense, but it doesn't explain the religious terms like "Friar."
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:23
  • 1
    @RogueJedi: As I stated above, I think he's inventing explanations post-facto. Alternately, you could see it as a translation-convention sort of thing. They just happen to call their teachers and leaders things like "Friar" or "Abbot" unrelated to religion.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:29
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    Doesn't that passage just show how the concept of saints and churches exists in the Redwall world?
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:43
  • @RogueJedi there is also at least one mention of a "town dog", as I recall, so it may be that while the terms on which the question is focused are used because they're the best translations of the concepts involved, there still exist other societies that do have some kind of religion? Or... something?
    – Darael
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:45
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    ive read all the books, and i can confirm that in 'Redwall' st ninians appears to have been meant as a church, but in all future works it is just an old building not any ties to religion. in the original book, they had human sized structures so you were to assume it was a full sized church. after that book he cut out all human sized structures and made the whole series like humans never existed.
    – Himarm
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 12:34

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