I'm confused about Theurgical Elemental Summoning.
TCTC lists Theurgical Summoning as an option for a Sahir's summoning art, and that plus other references had led me to believe that Theurgical Summoning could summon any spirit with strong elemental correspondences (fiery afrits, the ghost of a drowning victim etc.).
But I just reread the description in HMRE and it seems to say that you can only summon fairly basic elementals (what I think of as D&D elementals) that are just animated masses of the appropriate element.
Was there a change to how Theurgical summoning works?
You are referring to the insert about Summoning? That is dependent upon the tradition of the character. It just means that an Elementalist is also eligible for the Sahir Social Status and entrance into the Suhar Suleyman.
And yes, (Elemental Theurgy) Summoning does summon D&Dish elementals.
That's a bummer that they can't summon other beings related to the elemental forms such as spirits... and to think that I've ever thought about playing one.
It just seems strange to me that Theurgical Controling isn't so specific, and refers to control over anything with a might score associate with that element. Odd that control covers so much more than they can summong.
Not so strange actually, It's easier to control something you know is there.
From memory the Theurgical Summoning option was incorporated into sahir to be inclusive and provides some variety / different component traditions within the Order of Suleiman such as the elementalists presented in HMRE that yes summon more DnD style elementals.
Sahir is more of a career / social rank / profession and the magic of the various individuals depends on their tradition - Sihr is the most common and the others are represented in various frequencies.
I believe Theurgical summoning can also summon spirits (or some variant that does) for a few reasons.
My first in that an older thread has Erik Dahl mentioning that you would be able to summon ghosts aligned to Terram with the ability.
That thread is here: Question to Erik Dahl andJohn Post - Gifted Elementalist
My second point is that in page 31 of TC&TC, the sidebox says that there are four summoning powers that can be used with Solomonic magic because they all target spirits. One of these listed summoning arts is (Theurgical) Summoning or (Elemental) Summoning.
Thanks for the link to that thread. He describes Theurgical Summoning the way I thought it should be. And since the relatively unintelligent elementals that can be summoned per the description of summoning in HMRE don't seem suited for making bargains as one needs to do with Solomon's arts I thought there should be more to that technique.
It's also worth mentioning that sahirs forbid binding intellegent spirits into objects, and then lists elementals as an option.
I think that Islam forbids enslavement, so sahirs don't force intelligent jinn with magic to obey (instead they make bargains).
Elemental spirits are considered unintelligent.
IIRC, Islam forbids the enslavement of muslims, but since many Jinn are muslim...
EDIT: By the same token, Christianity forbids enslavement of christians, not enslavement in general (as mentioned in GotF IIRC).
That makes sense. Enslavement was common in that age.