The substantialists include Rudolf Otto, Gerardus van der Leeuw, and Mircea Eliade.
Part 2 raises the formal issues of substantialist and situational discourses on the sacred, drawing from Chidester and Linenthal's genealogy of sacred lands in America.
Again turning to Chidester and Linenthal, I want to lay out the terrain they call substantialist and situationalist in order to note what is unique, the "something special" of Grant Bulltail's position, which is, I would argue, a point of friction between religious studies and Indigenous studies.
Substantialist claims have been roundly criticized as crypto-theology in recent debates regarding the discipline of religious studies.
Bulltail's use of the sacred walks a different ground than either a simple substantialist invocation of the sacred or a situationalist deployment, and in that way the sacred works like a bat in his cross-cultural discussion.
The bat story tells us what is most true about categories used in the comparative study of religion, and the sacred is a particularly charged category that elucidates three things: (1) the need to attend to culturally specific notions of the sacred with all the nuances of language and cultural sensitivity; (2) the potential power of bringing culturally specific notions to the table using the word sacred as a token of translation when battles for religious freedom are being fought; and (3) critical awareness that the full ambivalence of the sacred crosses the terrains of substantialist claims of ontological sacrality, on the one hand, and situational claims of the interpretive play of the category as a category of difference, on the other.