Alain Arrault is director of studies at l’École française d’Extrême-Orient and associated with the Center for Studies on Modern and Contemporary China (EHESS). He obtained a doctorate in Chinese studies (1995) after a master's degree in philosophy (1985), and was professor of Chinese studies at the University of Liège (Belgium) between 1996 and 2000. His first field of interest in studies Chinese was the history of thought and religion in premodern China (Song and Ming dynasties), especially Wang Yangming and Shao Yong. He then focused on the history of Chinese annual calendars from the 3rd century BCE to the 10th century. In 2002, he participated in studies on « religion commune », in particular on religious practices in Hunan province, analyzing domestic statuary from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century and conducting field surveys. This work has resulted, among other things, in the recent publication of A History of Cultic Images in China. The Domestic Statuary in Hunan (2020, CUHK-EFE O).