I find this puzzling. Religious caste has no business learning how to fight since it is the job of the warrior caste to do the fighting. Furthermore, Minbari do not kill Minbari. Therefore, there is absolutely no incentive for religious caste to learn fighting for self-defence against fellow Minbari. As for self-defense against alien races, the warrior caste will be there for this task.

Strangely, the military achievements of the religious caste are impressive. The religious caste aided Babylon 5 militarily when the warrior caste was unwilling. Religious caste was even strong enough to oppose the warrior caste in the Minibari Civil war. Lastly, look at Lennier. He fights like a true warrior. Watch his performance at "Lines of Communication", how he escape from the Drakh fire and fought back and destroyed the Drakh ships. It is not logical for trained "pastors" who shun violence to fight as well as the best trained soldiers.

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    Ever seen <insert random Asian martial arts movie name>? Cost training might not be aimed at warfare but other training instead.
    – Mario
    Nov 4, 2017 at 6:38
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    The Religious Caste are responsible, by order of Valen for training and maintaining the Rangers, and while they may not be warriors first they do still control a third of the fleet, so do the builders. The Minbari all train to fight because they are traditionalists who before Valen fought each other tooth and nail and who remember those days by all training to the arts militant.
    – Ash
    Jan 28, 2018 at 14:13
  • @Ash I'm not sure that's correct. My recollection is that Neroon was quite outraged at Delenn because traditionally the Rangers were led by the warrior caste. Jul 4, 2023 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


Whoever said that the religious caste shun violence?

Delenn remarks, in the episode Moments of Transition, when the Minbari Civil War draws to a close, that of course the warrior caste are superior fighters. After all, the religious caste helped train them.

The purpose of the religious caste in Minbari society does not appear to be limited to purely philosophical pursuits. Lennier after all early in Season 1 describes some of his training as dealing in probability and statistics, and his combat skills are shown that early as well. They are keepers and guardians of wisdom, whether that wisdom would be seen as Minbari history, traditions, psychology, physiology, science, or the correct way to efficiently beat someone bloody with a pike.

Various comments from Delenn point toward the religious caste being centered around a quest for understanding. While understanding would definitely include the exploration of peace, it wouldn't rule out the exploration of violence either.


Weapons training can put you into a mystical state, the same as prayer, meditation, chanting, singing, dancing - all of which are doorways to the mystical world.

The last time that I shot for record, I knocked down the 200, 250 and 300 meter targets every time they popped up. I was in a mystical state that was the same as when I have had religious experiences. Getting your body and mind into sync and being able to "leave" them while experiencing them both to the fullest is the result of deep training.

That the Minbari religious caste uses weapons training or martial arts to train their people is realistic. Generally, it is the Western Christian religious background that sees weapons training as antithetical to religious experience.

I think that Babylon 5 explored this different viewpoint of weapons training as being a pathway to mystical training and part of the religious experience, especially given the "historical" background of the Minbari religious caste.


In my mind, the religious caste is "ok" at fighting, it's just that the warrior caste is much, much better at fighting and an average minbari is better at fighting than average human.

An analogy would be humans from the point of view of a weak aliens (imagine small grays) - an average non-military human will probably fight better than a small gray alien, but a trained human soldier will still be superior.

After all, in most of human history, wars were fought with non-profesional soldiers.

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