Dr Hutchings is a sociologist and ethnographer of digital religion. His research explores new digital forms of authority, community and ritual, the relationship between online and offline activity, and the role of media technologies in social change. His PhD (Durham University, 2010) was an ethnographic study of five online Christian churches, exploring the emergence of new religious practices and networks of belonging in social media and virtual worlds. His postdoctoral work has included studies of online storytelling and proselytism (Umeå University), Bible apps and Bible games (The Open University), and digital pilgrimage (Durham University). His study of death and bereavement began with ethnographic observations of mourning and memorialization within online communities, and has continued with studies of emotion, digital materiality and gender.